Latest Morning Briefing Stories
“We’re making every effort to get them off the ship as safely and quickly as possible,” said Dr. John Redd of HHS. Passengers have been quarantined after a previous traveler who had disembarked the ship later died from the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the State Department warns against taking cruises, a blanket advisory that shocked some experts.
This would be the first deal among about 3,000 lawsuits that exist nationwide. Details must still be resolved on payments to local, state groups as well as hospitals and others. The plan also does not apply to two key drugmakers, Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt. News on the national drug epidemic is from California, as well.
The patient wasn’t tested right away because she didn’t fit the narrow parameters CDC issued about who should be checked for coronavirus. The agency has struggled with other missteps related to testing, and experts worry that they could have exacerbated whatever outbreak is set to come. Meanwhile, California is aggressively trying to contain the virus, now that it’s likely moved beyond just those who have traveled abroad.
HHS said last month that the state’s abortion coverage requirement violated federal law that banned government entities that receive HHS funding from discriminating against health-care organizations because they don’t provide abortion or abortion coverage. “The Trump Administration’s threats not only put women’s health on the line, but illegally threaten crucial public health funding that Californians rely on,” said California Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a letter to HHS.
However, rates in other parts of the country, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maine, are dropping. More news on the national drug epidemic covers medicated-assistance recovery, treatment business partners, Purdue Pharma payouts, and a wrongful-death lawsuit.
So far there has been no community spread of the disease in the United States, which means no cases in which the source of the infection is not known. But looking ahead, community spread within the country is very possible and maybe even likely, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Other stories on the outbreak and the United States focus on self-quarantines, scientists’ work understanding the virus, drug shortages, the politics of an epidemic, and more.
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.