What We’re Reading: Resources for Hurricane Idalia; Out-of-Pocket Weight-Loss Drug Costs; Overdose Deaths Reach Record High


CMS announces assistance for Hurricane Idalia emergency; deaths from drug overdoses due to counterfeit drugs reach historic high; customers are paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for off-label weight loss drugs.

CMS Announces Resources for Those Impacted by Hurricane Idalia

CMS announced Thursday extra resources and flexibilities accessible in response to Hurricane Idalia in Florida, reported cms.gov. CMS is closely working with the state of Florida to implement these resources to make sure those impacted by this natural disaster have access to the care they need when they most need it. President Biden determined that Florida was experiencing a state of emergency due to the conditions arising from Hurricane Idalia, starting on August 27, 2023, and continuing. CMS is ready to help with resources and waivers to make sure that hospitals and other facilities can still operate and provide care access to those impacted by the hurricane.

Overdose Deaths From Counterfeit Drugs Reach Historic Highs

Overdose deaths from counterfeit drugs are reaching historically high rates and continue to grow, according to new data from the CDC, reported The Hill. The report, conducted between July 2019 and December 2021, discovered that evidence of imitation pill use and overdose deaths grew more than 2 times during this timeframe and tripled in the western United States. There were a total of over 54,000 overdose deaths with proof of counterfeit pill use, and the study found that those deaths were often linked with people 35 and younger, those who are Hispanic or Latino, and those with a prescription drug misuse history.

Paying Out-of-Pocket for Weight-Loss Drugs

Country-wide, some customers are paying $10,000 per year or more to get popular weight-loss drugs, necessitating that they take on second jobs, rack up credit card debt, and reduce travel or family expenses to afford tirzepatide (Mounjaro) off-label for weight loss, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some customers are also self-paying for the diabetes drug semaglutide (Ozempic) for off-label weight-loss, and the weight-loss drug semaglutide (Wegovy). The willingness of customers to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket highlights the public’s need for more effective weight loss medications and who have struggled with obesity for a long time. Insurers are refuting coverage for weight loss, and drugmakers are charging the full list price, contributing to their high costs.

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