The Trump administration is backing off a proposal that would have allowed private Medicare plans to refuse to pay for certain drugs for chronic conditions that experience steep price hikes; 5 more states have sued Purdue Pharma, alleging the company llegally marketed and sold opioids; bariatric surgery may offer more benefits for adolescents than adults.
The Trump administration is backing off a proposal to ease protections on 6 protected classes of drugs, reported STAT. The proposal would have allowed private Medicare plans to refuse to pay for certain drugs for chronic conditions that experience steep price hikes. The administration argued the move would help lower drug prices by giving these plans more leverage over high-cost drugs. The 6 classes include antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants for treatment of transplant rejection, antiretrovirals, and antineoplastics.
Five states are suing Purdue Pharma, claiming the company illegally marketed and sold opioids. The 5 states—Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—join 39 other states in filing lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and its executives, including the former president, Richard Sackler, and his family, according to Reuters. Last week, a North Dakota judge threw out the state’s lawsuit that accused the company of overstating the benefits and trivializing the risks of long-term opioid use. Purdue Pharma called the new lawsuits “misleading attacks.”
While bariatric surgery results in comparable weight loss among adolescents and adults, adolescents may reap more benefits from the surgery. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, after 5 years of surgery, adolescents had remission of diabetes (86% vs 53%) and hypertension (68% vs 41%) more often than adults. However, more adolescents than adults had abdominal reoperations (19 vs 10 reoperations per 500 person-years) The researchers compared the effects of the surgery among 161 adolescents between 2006 and 2012 and 396 adults between 2006 and 2009.