Henry Schein, a wholesale medical and dental supplies distributor based in New York, agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act. Authorities said the company distributed about 3,600 Xanax pills and 25,400 hydrocodone pills to a dentist practicing in Huntington, W.Va., between January 2015 and October 2018.
CDC researchers analyzed data from 11 states and found that 1 in 44 8-year-olds had been diagnosed with autism in 2018, compared with 1 in 54 in 2016. Another CDC report found children had 50% higher odds of being diagnosed with autism by age 4 in 2018 than in 2014, suggesting that "[t]here is some progress being made and the earlier kids get identified, the earlier they can access services that they might need to improve their developmental outcome," CDC researcher Kelly Shaw said.
AHIP expressed concerns that a provision in President Joe Biden's pandemic response plan requiring health insurers to cover over-the-counter home COVID-19 tests could result in price gouging, which insurers have seen with some clinician-administered tests. The group said it looks forward to learning more about the rule, but it wants to ensure "that consumers are protected from higher premiums, and that clear rules and guidance allow these efforts to be implemented effectively," AHIP spokeswoman Kristine Grow noted.
The US seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 86,000 as of Wednesday, down from almost 96,000 the previous week, but HHS reports that the seven-day average for COVID-19 hospitalizations is up by 8% over the previous week to around 56,000. The CDC said more than 99% of new cases in the US involve the Delta coronavirus variant.
HHS is appealing a federal court's decision to halt implementation of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for health care workers. The appeal will be heard by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and some health systems said they were putting their own vaccination requirements on hold while litigation unfolds.
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association has withdrawn a federal lawsuit disputing a mandate that pharmacy benefit managers reveal rebate prices of prescription drugs after negotiating changes to the rule with the Biden administration. The final rule will require only that PBMs report the rebate amounts they negotiate with drugmakers to the US government, not the public.
Pharmaceutical firms hoping to build on the sales success of recent years in China dramatically cut costs, by nearly 62% on average, to have 67 drugs included on the country's National Reimbursement Drugs List. The branded drugs added to the list have no generic versions in China and include the likes of Johnson & Johnson's multiple myeloma drug Darzalex and Eli Lilly and Co.'s psoriasis treatment Taltz, the National Healthcare Security Administration reports.
Immunity developed by the human body following natural COVID-19 infection is likely to be much less powerful than that conferred by vaccination, according to internist and hospitalist Dr. Bob Wachter of the University of California San Francisco. "You really need to bolster your protection, particularly if you are going back to life as you knew it in 2019," Wachter said in an interview.
The Biden administration said private insurance companies should not expect US government reimbursement for the cost of home-based tests to detect COVID-19 infection. A White House official noted that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act require the insurers to cover the testing without cost-sharing.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported a fast but uneven rebound of markets globally while maintaining a "cautiously optimistic" outlook on the economy. The group predicted global growth of 5.6% this year, followed by 4.5% growth in 2022 and 3.2% in the succeeding year. Chief economist Laurence Boone said the new Omicron coronavirus variant could increase uncertainty in the market and disrupt recovery, and a downturn would likely worsen the unemployment situation in the US.
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