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What We’re Reading: Social Security, Medicare Warnings; FDA Experts Back OTC Naloxone; Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccines Stay Free


Social Security and Medicare spending could double by 2023; FDA panel experts want naloxone to be available over the counter after the drug information is revised; Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccines will stay free, and the Biden administration might keep tests and treatments free for the uninsured.

Social Security, Medicare Spending Might Double by 2033

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday that spending on Medicare and Social Security is projected to double by 2033, due to the increasing cost of medical services and a growing number of eligible beneficiaries, reported The Hill. In another report, the CBO said this week that Social Security trust funds are expected to start running short in 2032, a year earlier than it predicted in December.

FDA Panel Supports OTC Naloxone

A panel of outside FDA experts unanimously voted on Wednesday that the overdose-reversing drug naloxone should be offered over the counter to help fight the national opioid crisis, according to the Associated Press. The FDA may or may not follow the panel’s recommendation. The manufacturer said it would revise the label and packaging in response to concerns from panel members, who noted a study that said some people found the drug’s instructions confusing. A final decision by the FDA is expected in the coming weeks.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines to Stay Free

Moderna announced that people who are insured will be able to get a free COVID-19 vaccine from their doctor’s office or a pharmacy, and uninsured people or those whose insurance won’t cover the vaccine can get it for free through Moderna’s patient assistance program, reported CBS Boston. This announcement comes after The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Moderna was thinking of charging $110 to $130 per vaccine dose. Additionally, Politico reported that the Biden administration is considering keeping COVID-19 tests and treatments free for the uninsured into 2024 despite the public health emergency’s end in May.

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