News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
10/19/2018

The cost of two valsartan doses, used to treat high blood pressure, increased more than any other drug in the US last month after pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical pulled valsartan from the US market following discovery of a probable carcinogen. Prices more than doubled over August rates.

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Reuters
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valsartan
10/19/2018

A study in The BMJ found that individuals who consumed the highest levels of seafood-derived docosapentaenoic acid had a 24% reduced risk of aging unhealthily, compared with those with the least consumption. Based on 2,622 adults from the Cardiovascular Health Study with an average age of 74, those in the top three DPA-consuming quintiles reduced their risk of experiencing unhealthy aging by up to 21%.

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Medical News Today
10/19/2018

The Trump administration could soon issue a final rule scaling back the Affordable Care Act's coverage requirements for birth control by permitting more employers to stop covering contraceptives on moral and religious grounds, despite injunctions issued by courts in California and Pennsylvania targeting an interim final rule. The rule is now being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, and an HHS spokesperson didn't provide a timeline for its release.

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HHS
10/19/2018

Less than 20 days before the election, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that all Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and "if they don't, they will after I speak to them." Trump sent the tweet as GOP candidates are under fire across the country for their efforts to repeal or scale back the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing illnesses.

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The Hill, CNN
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President Donald Trump, GOP
10/19/2018

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state will start accepting applications for enrollment in its newly expanded Medicaid program on Nov. 1, with coverage scheduled to begin next year. About 400,000 low-income adults are now qualified to enroll in the program.

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The Associated Press
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Gov. Ralph Northam
10/19/2018

Companies are sponsoring access to boutique fitness studios as a voluntary benefit or as part of an employee wellness program because it may help employees adopt long-term healthy behaviors, writes benefits consultant Nicholas Park. Boutique fitness studios are a good fit for a diverse workforce and can offer employees flexibility and better access to fitness classes.

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Workforce online
10/19/2018

Spanish researchers analyzed data on 3,896 adults ages 60 and older and found that any of the components of the FRAIL scale -- fatigue, illness, limitation in ambulation, low resistance and weight loss -- was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, while pre-frail and frail people were at a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with robust individuals. The findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that CVD-related death rates among physically active but frail individuals were the same as those for pre-frail and physically inactive people.

10/19/2018

A study in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications showed an association between adverse experiences in childhood and an increased risk for developing prediabetes indicators in adulthood, such as higher body mass index, insulin resistance or waist circumference. Researchers used a cohort of 1,054 individuals with a mean age of 55 and found that physical abuse was tied to increased fasting insulin levels and waist circumference, while sexual abuse and financial strain correlated with an increased BMI.

10/19/2018

CMS Administrator Seema Verma suggested that Medicare Part D plans should encourage even more generic-drug utilization and said subscribers spent more than $1.1 billion out of pocket in 2016 on brand-name drugs for which generic alternatives were available.

10/19/2018

Raeford Brown, chairman of the FDA's Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee, urged the FDA not to approve AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' opioid pain drug Dsuvia despite the full panel's recommendation for approval, saying the powerful drug poses a public health risk.