News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/18/2018

The FDA on Thursday released a list of drugmakers that have been delaying generic competition by withholding product samples from generic drug firms using the agency's safety regulations and other strategies. The list, which includes Novartis, Celgene, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and 35 other drugmakers, is the Trump administration's latest move to pressure pharmaceutical firms to lower drug prices.

5/18/2018

The CMS is considering a national policy for reimbursing hospitals and other Medicare providers for one-time cancer gene therapies Kymriah and Yescarta. The proposal could add millions in revenues for hospitals, with the CMS currently paying hospitals $395,380 for Yescarta and $500,839 for Kymriah.

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Kymriah, Yescarta, Yescarta
5/18/2018

A panel of experts stressed the importance of implementing institutional protocols for continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy to ensure the safety of diabetes patients in the hospital setting. The consensus statement, published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, recommends patients let hospital staff inspect the device and its settings, agree to using the hospital's glucometer for point-of-care glucose testing, and consent to changing the infusion site every 48 to 72 hours or as needed.

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Endocrinology Advisor
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diabetes
5/18/2018

An analysis to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting found just 1.9% of over 7 million current and former heavy smokers who were candidates for lung cancer screening were actually screened in 2016. The findings, based on data from the American College of Radiology's Lung Cancer Screening Registry and the National Health Interview Survey, showed the West had the lowest screening rate of US regions at 1%, while screening was highest in the Northeast at 3.5%.

5/18/2018

Disruptions in circadian rhythms are associated with a higher risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder, researchers found when they analyzed rest and activity data from 91,105 participants in the UK Biobank database. The findings were reported online in The Lancet Psychiatry.

5/18/2018

The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fish weekly to reduce the risk of heart disease, but warns against consuming fried fish because this can increase the risk of heart failure. The report, published in Circulation, recommends eating fish that are highest in omega-3 fatty acids.

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HealthDay News
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American Heart Association
5/18/2018

The CDC reported a fertility rate of 60.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2017, a 3% decline from 2016 and the lowest rate since tracking began. Births to teen mothers dropped by 7%, as did fertility among all age groups except women in their early 40s, but the prevalence of preterm births and low birth weight infants rose.

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CDC
5/18/2018

A study in Diabetes Care showed that US nursing home costs attributed to diabetes were $18.6 billion in 2013, with figures ranging from $21 million in Alaska to $2 billion in California. Researchers also found that diabetes-attributable nursing home costs per person were $374 in New Mexico, $799 in Maine and $1,610 in Washington, D.C.

5/18/2018

The FDA has approved Amgen and Novartis' Aimovig, or erenumab, for preventing migraine in adults, making it the first calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitor to be cleared for the purpose. Aimovig, which will be given by monthly self-injection, will carry a list price of $575 per month or $6,900 annually and is expected to be launched this week.

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BioCentury, Reuters
5/18/2018

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance 32 bills intended to combat the opioid abuse crisis, sending them to the full House for consideration. Bills advanced Thursday would give the FDA more power to stop trafficking of illegal drugs through the mail, facilitate faster development of nonaddictive pain medications, expand treatment coverage to prison inmates with opioid addiction problems and more.