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Researchers with the University of California looked at states that expanded Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In 2016, the cost difference between the amount that the Medicare Part D drug program spent on brand-name combination medications and the estimated cost for generic constituents for the same number of doses was $925 million, according to an investigation in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The FDA has approved Oxervate (cenegermin, Dompé farmaceutici SpA), a topical eye drop that is the first drug for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis. This rare degenerative disease results from a loss of corneal sensation, which impairs corneal health and causes progressive damage to the top layer of the cornea, resulting in corneal thinning, ulceration, and perforation, in severe cases.

In an effort to protect children from tobacco and nicotine-containing products, the FDA has announced that all 17 manufacturers, distributors and retailers that were warned by the agency in May have stopped selling their nicotine-containing e-liquids used in e-cigarettes with labeling or advertising resembling kid-friendly food and beverage products.

The CMS has issued a guidance indicating that it will initiate tighter analysis of Medicaid waiver demonstration project costs to make sure that states are meeting budget-neutral goals.

Just look at what happened to Drew Calver. As Kaiser Health News reports, when the 44-year-old teacher suffered a massive heart attack (what they call a widow-maker) in April 2017, he was rushed to the nearest hospital, St. David’s Medical Center in Austin.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have proposed to reduce manufacturing quotas for six of the most frequently abused opioids by 10%, on average, in 2019.

Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills so far this year in an effort to curtail prescription drug costs and to force drug companies to disclose and justify their price increases. Not surprisingly, the drug companies are fighting back, claiming they should not be compelled to explain their price increases because the requirement would violate the First Amendment.

The FDA has announced that it will permit marketing of the Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 percent of U.S. adults had OCD in the past year. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms.

The FDA has approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. (epinephrine,Teva) auto-injector for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in adults and pediatric patients who weigh more than 33 pounds. The generic epinephrine auto-injector is available in 0.3-mg and 0.15-mg strengths.

About one in five prison or jail inmates used heroin or opioids regularly before being locked up, Kaiser Health News reports.

The blame game continues regarding the escalating cost of drugs, with AHIP this time brandishing a study by Milliman that AHIP commissioned and that says that the rebates pharmaceutical companies offer for certain drugs don’t really have that much of an impact on costs.

Highland Hospital in Oakland is one of a small group of hospitals across the country that changed its approach to treating opioid patients who come to its emergency department.

Message to med school students: You may want to consider becoming a cardiac/thoracic surgeon. That is if one of the things you’re looking at in job satisfaction is compensation (and who isn't?).

Best Buy, the leading consumer electronics business, is the latest retailer to jump into health care, announcing yesterday that it plans to purchase health services provider GreatCall for $800 million. 

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