What We’re Reading: Eli Lilly to Expand Diabetes Drug Plant; Providers Billing for Emails; Gallup Poll on Universal Health Care

Eli Lilly will tack on $450 million more to increase capacity in a diabetes drug plant in light of shortages; patients emailing and messaging medical providers online might be charged; 57% of adults in a recent survey think that the federal government should secure health care coverage for all Americans.

Eli Lilly Will Invest Extra $450 Million to Expand Diabetes Drug Plant

Eli Lilly and Co is planning to invest an added $450 million to its Research Triangle Park manufacturing location in North Carolina to keep up with the amplified demand for diabetes drugs dulaglutide (Trulicity) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro, according to Reuters. In January, the FDA included both drugs on its list of drug shortages. The company intends to double production of the incretin drug class by the end of 2023, which includes both medications.

More Providers Billing for Patient Emails, Portal Messages

Electronic health communication has started to cost some patients when they communicate with providers online through emails and patient portals, The New York Times reported. CMS created billing codes for reimbursement for portal messages before the pandemic, and some insurers have followed suit. Billable messages must meet certain criteria to be charged and can be at the discretion of the providing institution. Electronic messages grew during the pandemic, and some providers said the time to respond adds to their workday. Critics are concerned that this new initiative could decrease health equity and drive people away from care.

Survey Shows Most Adults Favor Some Type of Guaranteed Universal Health Care

The majority of adults surveyed—57%— think that the federal government should guarantee health care coverage for all Americans, but most are partial to a private health care system rather than one controlled by the government, The Hill reported. The Gallup survey findings were the highest vote in favor of universal health care since 2018. Mostly Democrats and 59% of independents were in favor of the idea; just 28% of Republicans were, showing the complexities of Americans’ positions in their desire for governmental health care coverage simultaneously with a private coverage system.

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