EpiPen manufacturer settles $30 million claim; THC-containing brands cited as potential cause of vaping epidemic; Idaho submits work-requirement waiver for Medicaid expansion.
EpiPen manufacturer Mylan NV has agreed to pay $30 million in restitution for charges by the US Securities and Exchange of Commission, which allege that the manufacturer failed to disclose a possible loss related to a previous federal probe into whether they overcharged Medicaid for their product, according to The Wall Street Journal. Back in 2016, Mylan NV agreed to pay $465 million to settle allegations from the US Department of Justice stating they wrongly classified the EpiPen as a generic product rather than a brand product. As drug manufacturers are required by law to pay rebates for sales to patients insured by Medicaid, this wrongful classification allowed the EpiPen manufacturer to pay a smaller rebate on sales to Medicaid programs, which is funded jointly by the federal government and the respective states.In a report examining a smaller group of vapers, health officials in Illinois and Wisconsin said about two-thirds of illnesses were related to a THC product brand called “Dank Vapes,” which are sold in cartridges and obtained from non-retail sources like friends, family, or street suppliers, according to USA Today. The CDC said that of the 514 affected patients who reported details on their use of vaping devices and e-liquids, 77% used products that contained THC alone or combined with nicotine. The role of THC-related products in causing nearly 4 in 5 cases has alerted health officials to their potential role in the outbreak. Additional THC-containing brands cited in the report were TKO, Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Cookies, Smart Carts, and Kingpen.Last Friday, Idaho officials submitted a work requirement waiver to the HHS for Medicaid expansion, with 4 other waivers likely to be submitted by December, according to The Associated Press. Waivers are required by states who are seeking to deviate from standard Medicaid rules. Earlier this year, Idaho officials added restrictions to voter-approved Medicaid expansion that passed in November, which requires a waiver. The work waiver would require recipients aged 19 to 59 years to work 20 hours weekly to remain eligible for Medicaid, apart from those with medical conditions. The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare is additionally taking public comments on another waiver, taking steps to fix problems with a rejected waiver, and is negotiating with the federal agency.