Top 5 Most-Read News Stories During the First Half of 2020

July 3, 2020

Between January and July 2020, The American Journal of Managed Care®’s (AJMC®) most-read stories ranged from breaking COVID-19 news to revisions of blood donation guidance.

With the historic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic and its evolving impacts on health care and daily life, there has been no shortage of managed care news in the first half of 2020.

Between January and July 2020, The American Journal of Managed Care®’s (AJMC®) most-read stories ranged from breaking COVID-19 news to revisions of blood donation guidance.

5. FDA Steps Up Warning for Montelukast for Risk of Mental Health Side Effects

In early March, the FDA required boxed warnings —the agency’s most prominent— to appear on packaging of montelukast (Singulair), a drug commonly prescribed for allergies and asthma. The revision was enacted in order to inform health care providers of severe mental health side effects, including thoughts of suicide, associated with the medication. The prescribing information for the drug, first approved in 1998, was also updated in 2008 to include warnings of mental health side effects.

Read the full article here.

4. American Academy of Ophthalmology Issues Coronavirus Guidelines

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) issued a set of guidelines for ophthalmologists practicing in the COVID-19 era. The guidance, based on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC, recommends providers wear protection of the mouth, nose, and eyes when caring for patients potentially infected with the virus. The AAO also recommends placing a facemask on potentially infected patients and isolating them in an examination room with the door closed if possible.

Read the full article here.

3. FDA's Revised Blood Donation Guidance for Gay Men Still Courts Controversy

In response to shortages of blood donations due to the pandemic, the FDA announced relaxing its restriction on gay men being allowed to donate blood. Previously, gay men would have had to wait 1 year after sex with another male before donating; the timeline has been shortened to 3 months. The 1-year timeline was enacted during an era when HIV was not well understood, and few men infected with AIDS survived. Opponents of the measure argue the revised guidance continues to be based on prejudice and not facts.

Read the full article here.

2. How Vulnerable Are Patients With Cardiovascular Disease to COVID-19, Flu Complications?

As older individuals and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 symptoms, concerns for those with cardiovascular disease were among the first to be brought up during the beginning of the pandemic. In March, uncertainty remained as to what damage COVID-19 can cause in these patients. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) issued a statement reminding individuals that viral respiratory infections can have a greater effect on patients with cardiac issues, while providing guidance to cardiovascular care teams.

Read the full article here.

1. COVID-19 May Be Transmitted Through the Eye, Report Finds

AJMC®’s most-read story in the first half of 2020 reported on preliminary data suggesting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, might be transmitted through the eye, in addition to through the mouth and nose. A study of 38 patients in China found 12 exhibited ocular manifestations including epiphora, conjunctival congestion, or chemosis. The symptoms are consistent with conjunctivitis or pink eye. Researchers hope the preliminary results can help guide future ophthalmologic practices and better inform individuals regarding ocular symptoms of COVID-19.

Read the full article here.