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Latest news and updates about the Medicare and pharmacy industries.

April 19: Measles Outbreak Is Going Strong, U.S. Officials Award $350 Million for Opioid Research, and More

Posted on in Industry Updates by admin

Here’s the latest in the world of pharmacy and healthcare:

1. The measles outbreak in the U.S. is going strong. This week, the CDC reported a total of 555 cases since the beginning of 2019, a significant increase from the 372 cases reported for all of 2018. The viral disease has affected people in 20 states across the country so far. The rise of measles cases in the U.S. mirrors a global trend — the World Health Organization (WHO) has seen a nearly four-fold increase in the number of measles cases globally in the first quarter of 2019. Read more from Reuters.

2. U.S. health officials are allocating $350 million to research toward fighting the opioid epidemic. Provided by the National Institutes of Health, the funds are going to researchers in four states hit hardest by the epidemic, who will study evidence-based techniques for fighting addiction and overdose. The overarching goal is to cut overdose deaths in local communities by 40% over three years. Read more from AP.

3. Could health activity trackers be the answer to medication adherence issues? A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found a positive link between activity tracking and medication adherence. Specifically, diabetic and hypertensive patients who used digital trackers like Fitbit or Jawbone were 1.3 times more likely to take their medications as prescribed, compared to those who didn’t. Read more from FierceHealthcare.

4. Patient influencers prefer social media over pharma websites for health information. According to a new survey from Wego Health, only 3% of patient influencers chose pharma websites over other sources of health information, including social media groups and websites such as WebMD. The report described influencers as people with “a measurable footprint and a critical mass of followers on social channels.” Read more from MM&M.

5. The WHO has unveiled a draft policy on how medical devices, diagnostics, and other medical products in the supply chain should be handled. The policy, which will be finalized later this year, aims to address issues, including barriers to access and supply of medical products and the availability of a sufficient stock of medical products with an acceptable shelf life. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft policy until May 5. Read more from Medtech Insight.

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