What We’re Reading: 10 States Recalcitrant on Medicaid; FDA Aware of Formula Issue Before Recall; Senator Wants AmeriSourceBergen Probe

Ten states remain that have not expanded Medicaid and they are unlikely to do so; FDA was aware of contaminated infant formula months before the most recent recall; Sen. Tammy Duckworth asks the Federal Trade Commission to investigate AmeriSourceBergen over its distribution practices around the brand-name of mifepristone (Mifeprex).

Remaining 10 States Unlikely to Expand Medicaid

With North Carolina accompanying other states expanding Medicaid, 10 states remain holdouts and are unlikely to bend, reported The Washington Post. Supporters of extending Medicaid coverage to additional low-income adults have been met with Republican resistance in other states. Since 2017, advocates have put Medicaid expansion power in the hands of voters in 7 conservative states, saying it would help bring in tax dollars and assist rural hospitals, but this strategy might be almost dead, and possibly met with additional hurdles.

FDA Aware of Contaminated Formula Months Before Latest Recall

Last month, formula manufacturer Reckitt recalled145,000 cans of infant formula due to the “possibility of cross-contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii,” the deadly bacteria that jumpstarted the infant formula crisis in 2022, although FDA inspectors knew about the positive test linked to this recall in November, said Politico. Amid this news, the FDA, which has been criticized for moving too slowly to ensure formula safety, Tuesday released guidelines it said will strengthen the US formula market.

Duckworth Asks FTC to Investigate Abortion Pill Distributor

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to inspect reports that drug distributor AmeriSourceBergen is denying the brand-name distribution of mifepristone (Mifeprex) to retail pharmacies in certain states, but continues to sell directly to health providers, reported The Hill. In a letter sent Monday to the FTC chair, Duckworth accused the company of exploiting the political climate surrounding abortion medication to maximize profits. Mifepristone is 1 of 2 drugs approved by the FDA for medication abortion. AmeriSourceBergen is the only distributor of the brand name, which can significantly impact access. Pharmacies can still dispense the generic version if they can access it.

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