What We're Reading: Government Promotes Use of Long-Acting Contraceptives

What we're reading, June 16, 2016: the federal government is encouraging state Medicaid programs to promote long-acting contraceptives; Congress introduces a bill the prevent drug makers from thwarting generic competition; and new recommendation that people can choose the type of colon cancer screening they receive.

The federal government is encouraging state Medicaid programs to increase the number of enrollees using long-acting contraceptives. According to Kaiser Health News, long-acting contraceptives are advantageous because they are cost-effective, highly effective, require little maintenance, and have high patient satisfaction. The government is promoting use of these contraceptives because the United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among developed nations, and states and the federal government spent a combined $21 billion on unplanned pregnancies.

Congress has again introduced a bill to prevent drug makers from thwarting generic competition. The bipartisan legislation would target companies that make it difficult to for generic companies to obtain samples of brand-name drugs, according to STAT. The bill would make it easier for generic companies to go to court over drug makers that refuse to make samples available. However, 2 previous legislative efforts have failed.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is advising that adults can choose the type of colon cancer screening they feel most comfortable with. In addition to the recommended screening tests, USPSTF is now saying people can be screening using CT colonography, reported Reuters. The recommendation is directed at people ages 50 to 75 years.