What We're Reading: Opioid Grants; Infertility Treatment Risks; Humira Lawsuit

September 20, 2018

States, communities, and organizations received more than $1 billion in grants from HHS to help them fight the opioid crisis; a preliminary study has found that children conceived through infertility treatments could be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease; the State of California is alleging that AbbVie boosted sales of Humira through kickbacks to prescribers and a network of nurse ambassadors.

HHS Awards More Than $1 Billion to Fight Opioid Epidemic

States, communities, and organizations received more than $1 billion in grants from HHS to help them fight the opioid crisis. Most of that funding will go to providing treatment and prevention services, according to The Hill. Nearly $200 million was awarded to conduct research on the epidemic and ramp up response and prevention activities. More than 1200 community health centers also received funding to increase access to services for substance use disorder and mental health needs.

Infertility Treatments May Raise Risk of CVD for Children

A preliminary study has found that children conceived through infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, could be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. NPR reported that while the findings are preliminary, families using infertility treatments to conceive should help children avoid cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle. The study found that healthy kids conceived through infertility treatments were more likely than their peers to have problematic blood vessels.

California Files Lawsuit Alleging AbbVie Provided Kickbacks for Humira

According to a new lawsuit, the State of California is alleging that AbbVie boosted sales of Humira through kickbacks to prescribers and a network of nurse ambassadors. The Center for Biosimilars®, a sister site of The American Journal of Managed Care®, reported that the lawsuit claimed AbbVie offered prescribers cash, meals, drinks, trips, patient referrals, and other goods and services. In addition, the company employed registered nurses to visit patients in their homes and train them on how to use Humira. The nurses were also trained to downplay the risks of taking Humira and to avoid answering questions about adverse events.