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What We're Reading: Patient Co-Pay Groups Probed; FDA Encourages AI; Genetic Testing Privacy

AJMC Staff
Copayment assistance groups are being probed by federal authorities for possibly skewing the cost of healthcare to favor drug companies; the FDA is encouraging the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare; investigators revealed they made the arrest of one of California’s most notorious serial killers by using an as yet-unnamed commercial genealogy website, raising privacy concerns.

Pharmaceutical Co-payment Assistance Groups Under Investigation

Co-payment assistance groups are being probed by federal authorities for possibly skewing the cost of healthcare to favor drug companies, USA Today reported. The groups were created to help patients with the rising price of drugs; some of those patients now serve as CEOs making nonprofit salaries of $300,000 or more. The investigations were noted by several drugmakers in their regulatory filings.



FDA Encouraging Artificial Intelligence

The FDA is encouraging the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The Hill reported on FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's remarks to the to the Health Datapalooza conference, where he said the FDA is working on an updated “new regulatory framework” that will allow regulators to keep up with new technology and “promote innovation in this space.”  He said the FDA expects to see an increasing number of AI-based submissions and pointed to a new medical device approved earlier this month that uses AI and a special camera to help diagnose a condition in patients with diabetes known as retinopathy that can lead to vision loss.



Privacy Questions Raised After Commercial Genetic Testing Firm Used to Help Track a Serial Killer

Investigators revealed they made the arrest of one of California’s most notorious serial killers by using an as yet-unnamed commercial genealogy website. STAT News reviewed the privacy practices of the leading commercial genetic testing companies. Most firms generally say on their websites that a customer’s genetic information can be shared with law enforcement if demanded with a warrant. Investigators took DNA collected years ago from one of the crime scenes and submitted it to the companies.

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