What We're Reading: $260 Million Ohio Opioid Settlement; Doctors Stress Flu Shots Among Pregnant Women; Health Data Breach

October 21, 2019
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

Two Ohio counties reached a $260 million settlement case with 4 opioid distributors; doctors stress the need for flu shots among pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses; a health system reports a data breach in its e-commerce website.

Drug Firms Reach a $260 Million Settlement in Ohio Opioid Case

Doctors Advocate for Flu Shots Among Pregnant Women

Health System Alerts Customers to Data Breach

Four major opioid distributors, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, agreed to a settlement with 2 Ohio counties over their role in the opioid epidemic for a reported $260 million, just an hour before opening arguments were set to begin in a federal trial slated for today, according to The Washington Post. The agreement does not include the fifth defendant, Walgreens, whose case, involving distribution practices, was postponed. A sixth defendant, Henry Schein Medical, also announced today that it had reached a deal worth $1.25 million with the 2 counties of Cuyahoga and Summit in Ohio.Federal health officials have stressed the need for flu vaccinations within communities, with an emphasis among pregnant women, people with asthma, and those with other underlying conditions that heighten chances of a deadly case of the flu, according to NPR. The advice comes amid the start of a new flu season, which has already shown a rise in likely cases in Louisiana and other states. Usually, about two-thirds of people over 65, 45% of adults, and 55% to 60% of children get vaccinated against the flu each year, but only half of pregnant women get vaccinated, and immunization rates for people with chronic diseases similarly show low rates of 30% to 40%.Mission Health, which serves citizens in western North Carolina, alerted an undisclosed number of customers to a data breach that affected its e-commerce website. Citizen Times reports that Mission Health said it recently “identified and addressed” a security incident involving information consumers provided when making purchases in its online store. The health system found malicious code on September 13 that was inserted into its website’s code and was sending payment information to an unauthorized individual. HCA’s North Carolina Division, which owns Mission Health, said that the malicious code was present on its e-commerce sites, including shopmissionhealth.org, from March 27, 2016 to June 26, 2019.