healthcare

SarahMcGowen

Anthem Responds To Cigna’s Lawsuit With A Suit Of Its Own

There are bad breakups, and then there are breakups that involve both sides suing each other at the same time: A day after Cigna announced it would officially give up on its proposed merger with Anthem and filed a lawsuit claiming billions of dollars in damages, Anthem has turned around and filed its own lawsuit in response. [More]

Federal Judge Blocks $37 Billion Merger Of Aetna & Humana

Federal Judge Blocks $37 Billion Merger Of Aetna & Humana

Six months after the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia sued to stop the merger of insurance giants Aetna and Humana, the federal judge in the case has blocked the deal from moving forward. [More]

The EpiPen Generic Is Finally Here, For $300 Per Twin-Pack

The EpiPen Generic Is Finally Here, For $300 Per Twin-Pack

A day after Mylan was one of six pharmaceutical companies named in a multi-state lawsuit alleging price-fixing on generic drugs, the maker of high-priced emergency allergy treatment EpiPen announced that the generic version of the popular epinephrine auto-injector is finally hitting the market, giving people a lower-cost (but still pricey) option for buying the drug. [More]

20 States Accuse Teva, Mylan & Other Pharma Companies Of Price-Fixing

20 States Accuse Teva, Mylan & Other Pharma Companies Of Price-Fixing

When the Justice Department announced it was bringing criminal charges against two former executives of a pharmaceuticals company, alleging a conspiracy to fix prices on generic drugs, we said that this was likely just the tip of the legal iceberg. Today, the industry ran smack into that iceberg — in the form of a lawsuit filed by twenty states against six different drug companies, including notables like Teva and Mylan. [More]

frankieleon

States That Expanded Medicaid Hope To Keep It Under Trump Administration

There’s no way to tap-dance around this one: healthcare access is an incredibly politicized and partisan issue in this country. And yet even while our two major political parties disagree vehemently, at every level, about whether existing healthcare laws are effective or worthwhile, at least one part now proving popular in a surprisingly bipartisan way. [More]

Homeopathic Treatments To Be Held To Same Standards As Other Health Products

Homeopathic Treatments To Be Held To Same Standards As Other Health Products

Homeopathic medicine is a billion-dollar business, with some of the biggest names in retail selling treatments that contain few — or no — active ingredients, like the CVS brand “Homeopathic Constipation Relief” that is nothing more than a 40-proof mixture of alcohol and water. In spite of the lack of actual medication or supporting evidence, some products still make claims that they can actually treat ailments or relieve pain. Now the federal government is confirming that homeopathic items will be held to the same standards as other products on drugstore shelves. [More]

Chris Wilson

From Healthcare To Financial Protection: How Will The Trump White House Affect Consumers?

Elections always bring change; some more so than others. With yesterday’s results in the box and tallied, we now know that we are expecting not only a Trump administration next January, but also to have both houses of Congress and the White House all aligned under control of the same political party. That means that for at least two years, until the next midterm elections, the party in charge — in this case, the Republicans — has the ability to push through changes to policy and law, and we can expect it to do so. [More]

Patients Say UnitedHealth Illegally Overcharged For Prescription Drugs

Patients Say UnitedHealth Illegally Overcharged For Prescription Drugs

With the high costs of some prescription drugs facing increased scrutiny, some consumers are fighting back against insurance companies who cover a portion of those costs. Case in point: some UnitedHealth customers are suing the insurer claiming it overcharged for prescription drugs.  [More]

MeneerDijk

Woman Loses Hospice Care Because She’s Lived Longer Than Expected

When someone is receiving hospice care, it usually means they’re very close to the end of their life. But what happens if that person simply refuses to die? [More]

Great Beyond

Private Healthcare Providers Are Making Big Bucks Contracting With Prisons

When you think of big business, you probably think of an industry like banking, but it turns out that one of the bigger businesses out there happens to be prisons — both private and federal. While we already know that financial institutions benefit from others, collecting tens of millions of dollars every year from inmates’ families in fees for basic financial services, the healthcare industry has also found a veritable goldmine by contracting services to prisons and jails across the country.  [More]

MeneeDijk

In Most States, No Regulator Cares If A Merger Closes Your Local Hospitals

The consolidation of, well, everything in healthcare is kind of par for the course these days, really. Insurance companies, provider networks, and hospitals are constantly merging or buying each other out, all around the nation. Small, independent hospitals in every state are regularly bought by larger chains, and go from being “Smallville General Hospital” to being “HealthCoName Patient Care Center Of Smallville” all the time.

[More]

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

When OxyContin hit pharmacies 20 years ago, its primary selling point was that a single dose of the opioid pain medication lasted 12 hours, “providing smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night,” per the press release. But a new report claims Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, have long known that the drug doesn’t always live up to this promise, resulting in an increased likelihood for abuse and addiction. [More]

Report: 30% Of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are Unnecessary

Report: 30% Of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are Unnecessary

While the beef, pork, and poultry industries have been heavily criticized for using the large majority of antibiotics sold in the U.S. to fatten up their animals, that doesn’t mean that American physicians are being terribly judicious about the antimicrobials they prescribe. A new report shines a light on just how many antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, increasing the risk of developing drug-resistant superbugs. [More]

The Comedian

CDC Urges Primary Care Physicians To Stop Over-Prescribing Painkillers

Physicians in the U.S. write more than 250 million prescriptions a year for opioid painkillers — and that’s not including all the painkiller prescriptions written for patients with cancer or acute/chronic pain. That’s enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of pills. Meanwhile, every day more than 40 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging primary care physicians — who prescribe about half of all opioids — to rethink how generous they are with their prescriptions. [More]

Scott Lynch

Nearly 1/3 Of Cancer Survivors Face Financial Burden After Diagnosis, Treatment

The cheery optimists on cable TV might have you believe that a cancer diagnosis will transform your average mild-mannered American into an exceedingly wealthy and lethal drug kingpin in a matter of months, but a new study shows that for many cancer survivors, the disease puts a significant burden on their finances — and that these money problems can have further negative impact on their health and well being. [More]

Merck disclosed this week that federal prosecutors have requested information on its pricing of prescription asthma medication Dulera.

Big Pharma Companies Also Being Questioned About Drug Prices

Earlier this week, we told you how a Senate committee was investigating huge price hikes on a handful of niche-market prescription drugs. The companies involved in those probes are generally newer, smaller operations — but it looks like two much bigger names in the pharmaceuticals industry are also being asked about the prices of their drugs. [More]

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear its fourth challenge to the five-year-old Affordable Care Act — and the second challenge involving the law’s requirement that employers provide insurance that includes coverage for female workers who choose to use birth control. [More]

Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

A handful of pharmaceutical investors have been snapping up the rights to previously affordable prescription drugs, only to immediately raise prices to the point where patients now pay hundreds of dollars for a single pill — resulting in huge additional costs for consumers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Not only has this practice drawn the ire of the medical community, it’s also resulted in a Senate committee investigation. [More]