What We're Reading: Pallone Prioritizes ACA; Doctor, 2 Others Killed at Work; Opioid Drug Price Hike

AJMC Staff

New House Health Chair Supports Medicare for All but Says ACA Takes Priority

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr, D-New Jersey, who is set to be chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, supports the concept of a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill in the next Congress, but said the votes aren’t there and there are other priorities, according to Roll Call. Pallone wants to focus on strengthening the 2010 Affordable Care Act and addressing prescription drug prices, including by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Progressives in the House are calling for a vote and their push could earn more attention over the next 2 years as Democratic candidates begin vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

ED Doctor, Pharmacy Tech, Police Officer Shot to Death at Chicago's Mercy Hospital

An emergency department (ED) doctor was shot and killed Monday by her former fiancé at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, along with a first-year pharmacy resident and a city police officer who rushed into the chaos, The Chicago Tribune reported. Tamara O’Neal, 38, graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 2016 and had worked as a resident at Mercy for 2 years, the paper said. Police were called to the hospital after the assailant confronted O’Neal over their relationship, shooting her multiple times.  

Kaleo Under Fire for 600% Price Hike of Naloxone Auto-Injector 

Kaleo, which sells a voice-activated auto-injector device that delivers a version of naloxone, raised the price of its opioid antidote product by more than 600% between 2014 and 2017, according to a lengthy report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The increase cost the federal government more than $142 million, STAT News reported. The small company subsidized patients who were given its Evzio opioid antidote device at no cost, instead of contracting with pharmacy benefit managers and insurers. In turn, it counted on private and public insurers to pay an increasing wholesale or list price. Kaleo began selling the device in July 2014 at $575 per unit; it is now $4100. A lower-cost alternative known as Narcan is available for $125.
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