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What We're Reading: Online Opioid Sales; Disclosing Lowest Drug Price; Hospital Liability for Patients


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, calls on social media sites and internet providers to crack down on illegal online opioid sales; Ohio will require pharmacy benefit managers and insurers to inform patients of the lowest price for a drug; a court is weighing if a hospital is responsible for a discharged patient with schizophrenia who committed murder.

Gottlieb Calls on Internet to Crack Down on Opioid Sales

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, has called on social media sites and internet providers to help curb illegal sales of opioids. According to The Hill, he believes these entities could be doing more to find and put an end to these illegal sales on their platforms. The FDA wants to bring together CEOs and internet stakeholders to find gaps and solutions to reduce the availability of opioids online.

Ohio Requires Lowest Drug Price Disclosure

As part of a push to ensure insured consumers don’t end up paying more for a drug than those without insurance, the Ohio Department of Insurance is going to require insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to disclose the lowest price for a drug. The state will also ban the practice that prohibits pharmacists from discussing when low-cost options are available, reported Reuters. There are similar moves happening at the federal level with 2 bills—the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018—aimed at preventing “gag clauses.”

Court Weighs Hospital’s Liability for Ex-Patient’s Crime

Massachusetts’ highest court is weighing whether a hospital should be responsible for a former patient who committed a crime. The New York Times reported that a hospital had released a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia and court ordered to be held for up to 6 months after just 11 days at the hospital. Within weeks of his release, he had killed a neighbor. The plaintiffs’ attorneys allege that the patient was clearly still dangerous when he was discharged and that the hospital is at fault for violating the court order to release him early.

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