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8/5/2020

More than 30 state attorneys general are calling on the federal government to use powers authorized under the Bayh-Dole Act and allow other drug firms to manufacture Gilead Sciences' remdesivir to boost supply and lower the price of the antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19. "Gilead should not profit from the pandemic and it should be pushed to do more to help more people," the coalition wrote in a letter sent to HHS, FDA and NIH leadership, while the company said the attorneys general were misrepresenting facts.

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Reuters
8/5/2020

Taking a vitamin D supplement was not associated with a lower risk of depression or depressive symptoms, when compared with a placebo, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that included adults ages 50 and older. Researcher Dr. JoAnn Manson said vitamin D is important for bone and metabolic health, but studies cast doubts about other health benefit claims.

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CNN
8/5/2020

Missouri voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure to expand the state's Medicaid program, making Missouri the 38th state to do so under the Affordable Care Act. The measure will expand eligibility for the MO HealthNet program to people earning less than 133% of the poverty level, and is slated to take effect July 2021.

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The Hill
8/5/2020

Administration officials and congressional Democrats said after a meeting Tuesday that they are still far from reaching an agreement on a fifth pandemic relief package, but they are hoping to reach a deal this week. President Donald Trump has said the administration is considering issuing an executive order to bring back enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits that expired last week if negotiations on the package continue to lag.

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The Hill, The Hill
8/5/2020

The NIH will launch two clinical trials, one each for inpatients and outpatients, as part of its Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Intervention and Vaccines program to test the safety and efficacy of Eli Lilly's monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555 as a potential treatment for patients in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection.

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NBC News
8/5/2020

The CMS has said it will allow health insurance providers to offer temporary premium reductions for individuals with coverage in the individual and small group markets to ensure continued coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy will be in effect until the end of this year.

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Healthcare Finance
8/5/2020

A Fidelity Investments report found 72% of people said holistic financial wellness programs that include concerns such as health care expeneses are valuable. The survey found 89% of employees who had a health savings account said it had positively affected their livelihood.

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PlanSponsor
8/5/2020

James Aranowski at HealthFitness writes that employers can address employee mental health when reopening work sites by adding meditation benefits, offering mental health first aid training, and showing people how to be more resilient. Aranowski says one employer opened a private Facebook group for employees to offer support and entertainment after work hours.

8/5/2020

Wellness accountability partners can help people stay on track with diet and exercise goals and overall well-being, according to fitness experts. Angie Fifer with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology says it's fine for people to choose an accountability partner who is a little more fit than they are, but it can be demotivating to choose someone who is much more advanced.

8/5/2020

Robert Fazzini, a licensed pharmacist from New Jersey, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiring to violate the anti-kickback statute. Court documents showed Fazzini, who was the owner of now-closed New Jersey-based White's Pharmacy, participated in a bribe and kickback conspiracy that schemed to acquire millions of dollars in health benefits from the federal workers' compensation program by dispensing and prescribing costly compound pain creams.

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Department of Justice

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