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What We're Reading: Medicare Executive Order; Breast Implant Recall; Antibiotic Misuse


President Trump is preparing an executive order that would slash prices on nearly all drugs sold to Medicare; Allergan has recalled certain breast implants following 573 cases of implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma; a study has found 1 in 4 people intend to use antibiotics without a prescription.

Trump Expected to Issue Executive Order on Medicare Prices

Allergan Recalls breast Implants Tied to Rare Cancer

Antibiotic Misuse Common in the United States

President Trump is preparing an executive order that would cut prices on nearly all prescription drugs sold to Medicare and other government programs. The measure would be broader than the administration’s previous proposal to lower drug costs by tying Part B drug prices to what other countries pay, 2 industry sources told Reuters. The administration is said to now be looking at similar methods to lower prices in Part D. While the White House and HHS declined to comment, the sources also told Reuters that Trump is also considering extending price controls to the Department of Defense, which oversees the Tricare health plan and the Department of Veterans Affairs.Allergan has recalled certain textured breast implants linked to a rare cancer following the FDA’s call for the manufacturer to do so. The decision comes 2 months after the FDA said there was not enough data to ban the sale of the breast implants. There have now been 573 cases of implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and 33 related deaths, which is up significantly from the 457 cases and 9 deaths known in February. According to The Wall Street Journal, the FDA has attributed approximately 84% of the 573 cases to Allergan’s implants. While the implants represent a small portion of implants sold in the United States, the risk associated with them is about 6 times the risk of implants from other manufacturers. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine is highlighting the prevalence of use of antibiotics without a prescription, which could increase unnecessary and inappropriate drug use or doses. It could also increase the risk of antimicrobial resistance, which is a growing public health crisis. The researchers drew on data from 31 previously published studies, finding that 1 in 4 people had intended to use antibiotics without a prescription. Meanwhile up to nearly half (48%) reported storing antibiotics for future use. The antibiotics were obtained without a prescription from a variety of sources, including previously prescribed doses, local markets or stores, and family or friends.

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