Latest Morning Briefing Stories
President Donald Trump cemented his relationship with the anti-abortion movement when he became the first sitting president to speak in person at the annual March for Life last week. On the same day, his administration announced that it would give California 30 days to lift a requirement that insurers cover abortion or that federal funds would be cut off from the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom dismissed the threat.
Acetaminophen is found in well-known brands like Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, Robitussin and Theraflu. In other pharmaceutical news: production of some Excedrin products temporarily halted; the effort to fight superbugs continues to be patchy; pharma’s race to partner with tech companies; and more.
Publicly, Trump administration officials and California leaders have sparred over management of the homeless crisis. But as the problem continues to escalate, both sides seem to be striving to improve relations so that they can actually address the issue at hand.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) wants to direct his state to sell its own brand of certain generic prescription drugs, with the theory that increased competition will drive down prices. Experts, however, say that while the strategy is a good step, generics aren’t the primary problem.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued Sutter claiming the hospital system abused its market power to raise prices. Under the terms of the agreement, Sutter will continue to operate as an integrated system. But it has agreed to end a host of practices that Becerra alleged unfairly stifled competition
Although there was a decline in homeless rates in 29 states and D.C., California’s skyrocketing numbers offset those gains. Senior Trump administration officials visited California in September to troubleshoot ways to minimize homelessness, after which the issue became politically fraught as President Donald Trump and California’s leaders publicly bickered over what was to be done about the crisis. Media outlets take a look at homeless issues across the country, as well.
Are e-cigarettes helpful as a tool for smokers to help them quit? Depends on who you ask. In other news: more on the investigation into the vaping-linked lung disease and the ground zero of an epidemic.
Some consumers in North Carolina are receiving robocalls that come across like ads for plans with names like “Trump Health Care” touting affordable coverage. But those options are often skimpy and don’t offer even some of the basic coverage Americans have grown used to under the Affordable Care Act. The deadline for signing up for a 2020 plan is Sunday. News comes out of Georgia, Florida and California, as well.
Vivitrol, manufactured by Alkermes, is meant to help those recovering for addiction, but it also lowers tolerance to opioids. That means if patients relapse while taking it they are far more vulnerable to overdoses.
The FTC, however, says the deals cost U.S. consumers an estimated $3.5 billion annually. In other pharmaceutical news: anti-trust probes, a billionaire couple’s work to move the House drug pricing bill through, the strategy behind Novartis’ recent acquisition, brain boosting supplements, and more.
Following reports that President Donald Trump has changed his mind on the flavor ban, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.) wrote to the OMB and FDA to inquire into the status of the proposed regulation on flavors. Public advocates were also left disappointed. “If the Trump administration backs off for political reasons, it will create a public health crisis that we will live with for decades,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said. Meanwhile, California is joining the ranks of those suing Juul over its marketing.
A gunman walked into a backyard and started shooting at a south Fresno home, where a gathering of about 35 family and friends was watching a football game. Earlier in the week, a 16-year-old gunmen in California opened fire on his fellow students before turning the gun on himself.
Saugus High School in Los Angeles is the latest site of a mass shooting, where a 16-year-old gunman opened fire on his fellow students and then turned the weapon on himself. There have been a total of 84 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2019, according to nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
Autopsy reports are still pending on some of the students. Three of the deaths are confirmed as suicides. Meanwhile, the university sent a letter to staff and students Tuesday night warning about the dangers of drug use — specifically opioids — and the potentially lethal mix of alcohol and drugs.
Self-harm behavior, like cutting, can often be met with fear and an overreaction from parents. But now researchers are starting to better understand the root causes of such actions. In other mental health news: sadfishing, teens seeking care for crises, and a call to action in San Francisco.
Researchers project that under the law — which bars parents from citing personal beliefs as a reason for not vaccinating children — 1.87% of children will remain unvaccinated compared to 2.36% without the law. Meanwhile, across the country there is an increase among parents citing religious objections to vaccinations.
President Donald Trump threatened to withhold federal aid from California because of how Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is handling the wildfires. But the tweets were quickly met with pushback, with Newsom saying, “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.” Others accused the president of playing “political roulette with the lives of our firefighters.”
Controversial power outages aimed at preventing wildfires are causing disruption across California, but health care providers dealing with life-and-death matters say it’s particularly vexing for them. Meanwhile, the threat of vicious Santa Ana winds looms over the state that’s already been battered in recent days by the raging fires.
Media outlets report on news from Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Ohio.
The National Weather Service office took the unusual step of labeling the fire weather conditions an “extreme red flag” warning to impart the severity of the situation. In other news on the wildfires: California’s disparities are put on display during disasters; a deepening skepticism emerges around PG&E’s power outage plan; parents worry about calming anxious children; and more.