What We're Reading: Policy on MRI Scans; Websites Illegally Selling Drugs; Alzheimer's Drug Failure

Directing Patients Where to Get MRIs

A new policy with Anthem will require patients get magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans at independent imaging centers. The change is supposed to reduce costs—hospital imaging is more expensive than imaging done at freestanding centers—but critics say it will fragment care, according to Kaiser Health News. Imaging tests are already subject to preapproval by Anthem, and now the insurer will not only decide whether or not the scan is medically necessary, but where it should be performed. The exception to the rule is rural areas that don’t have at least 2 other non-hospital imaging centers available.

FDA Cracks Down on Websites Illegally Selling Drugs

More than 500 websites selling unapproved versions of prescription medications have been targeted by the FDA. According to The Washington Post, the effort was part of a global operation organization by Interpol. The websites were selling opioids, antibiotics, and injectable epinephrine, and the crackdown involved 123 countries. The FDA largely focused on websites illegally selling opioids online and shipping them through the United States postal system.

Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment Falls Short

In a large trial, a potential drug to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease has failed. The drug was the latest potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease to fall short in trial, reported STAT. Intepirdine by Axovant Sciences was not supposed to be a cure; instead, the drug was expected to delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow cognitive decline. The trial included 1300 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and combined intepirdine and Aricept, a generic memory booster.