Here’s the latest in the world of pharmacy and healthcare:
1. The FDA has approved the first generic naloxone nasal spray for use by individuals without medical training. Commonly known as Narcan, the medication is used to stop or reverse the effects of opioid overdoses and is an essential part of the efforts to combat the opioid crisis. The agency also announced plans to prioritize reviews of generic drug applications for products used to treat opioid overdose. Read more from FDA.gov.
2. Medicare and Social Security are on shaky ground. According to a report released this week, the financial future of the retirement programs is uncertain with Medicare projected to become insolvent by 2026 and Social Security by 2035. Running out of funds means the programs would be unable to cover the cost of promised benefits and could lead to benefit cuts for retirees or fee cuts for hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical providers. Read more from AP.
3. A majority of Americans want to keep the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for pre-existing medical conditions, says a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Of those surveyed, 68% say they don’t want to see the Supreme Court overturn the protection while another 54% say the same about the entire ACA law. The results also showed that a greater number of Americans believe targeted actions on issues like prescription drug costs are a higher priority for Congress than broader reforms. Read more from KFF Health.
4. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline to weigh in on two proposed regulations to support the secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. Stakeholders now have until June 3 to submit comments on the rules, which promote the interoperability of health information technology and enable patients to electronically access their health information. Read more from HHS.gov.
5. The CMS’ new Primary Cares Initiative is overhauling primary care payment models by providing incentives for positive patient experiences. The agency recently introduced five voluntary payment models for providers, aimed at improving patient care access, patient experiences, and chronic disease management. The first of the models, targeted to smaller practices, will launch in January 2020 and be tested for five years. Read more from Patient Engagement HIT.