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What We're Reading: Drug Makers Take Cautious Approach on Off-Label Promotion


What we're reading, January 2, 2017: drug makers are taking a cautious approach to off-label promotion; Republicans eye changes to Medicaid under Trump administration; and the impact of geography on health.

Almost a year ago, a court ruling may have opened the gate for drug makers to promote off-label uses for medications, but most companies are playing it safe, for now. According to MedPage Today, companies are taking a “wait-and-see” approach and avoiding and promotion of off-label uses that would put them into dispute with the FDA. Traditionally, the FDA has a zero-tolerance policy for off-label promotion, but the court ruling means the agency can’t outright ban the this type of communication.

Republicans are planning a lot of changes for healthcare under the Trump administration. In addition to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and weighing a possible privatization of veterans’ medical care, the GOP is eyeing an overhaul to Medicaid, reported AP. Trump and Republicans are considering using block grants for the program, which supporters say will rein in spending. Critics are worried about big cuts. Currently, there are 70 million people covered by Medicaid.

Where a person lives can have a big impact on his or her health. A recent report highlighted how much of an impact geography can have with the finding that people in Mississippi live to 75, on average, while people in Hawaii can live longer than 81 years. The Washington Post outlined numerous interventions occurring across the country that are based on geographic data, such as a home inspection program in one Connecticut city based on data that there was a high rate of asthma-related hospitalizations.

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