What We're Reading: ACA Premium Increases; Cherokee Nation Opioid Lawsuit; No Codeine for Kids

ACA Premiums Could Increase as Much as 20%

The Society of Actuaries has estimated that premiums for the Affordable Care Act’s plans could increase by 10% to 20%. Bloomberg BNA reported that premiums could increase more, and additional insurers could exit some markets, if the cost-sharing reduction subsidies are not funded. State deadlines for filing rates vary, but there is a federal deadline of June 21 for some filings. Insurers who file rates will have until the fall to decide whether or not they will ultimately participate in the exchanges for 2018.

Cherokee Nation Files Suit Against Drug Distributors

A lawsuit filed in tribal court accuses drug distributors and pharmacies of the devastation caused by addictive pain pills that flooded into Oklahoma. According to The Washington Post, the suit says the 6 defendants named turned a “blind eye” to the situation of pain pills being diverted to the black market. The defendants named were McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. The attorney general for the Cherokees said these companies should have known they were sending too many pills to realistically only be used for “legitimate medical purposes.”

FDA Warns Against Codeine and Tramadol for Children

After identifying more than 70 cases of serious breathing problems, the FDA has expanded safety warnings for codeine and tramadol products to treat pain or relieve cough in children. Included in the cases were 27 deaths. Most of the side effects linked to the medications occurred in children younger than age 12, and sometimes 1 dose was all that was needed, reported The Wall Street Journal. The FDA is now warning neither drug should be used in children younger than 12 and that tramadol shouldn’t be used in patients younger than 18 after tonsil- or adenoid-removal surgery. Breast-feeding mothers should also not take these medications.