What We're Reading: Promoting Off-Label Uses; VA Reform Bill; Medical Marijuana for Patients With Cancer

Tennessee has become the second state to pass a law allowing pharmaceutical companies to market their products for off-label uses; a House panel advanced legislation that would expand access to private sector care outside of the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system; and nearly half of oncologists recommend medical marijuana to their patients.

Allowing Pharma to Promote Off-Label Uses

Veterans Affairs Reform Bill

Medical Marijuana For Patients With Cancer

Tennessee has become the second state to pass a law allowing pharmaceutical companies to market their products for off-label uses, as long as the information given to doctors is accurate. The law goes into effect July 1 and comes amid rising pressure for the FDA to loosen regulations for off-label use, reported STAT News. Arizona became the first state to enact such legislation last March.Earlier this week, a House panel advanced legislation that would expand the number of veterans who are eligible to see private health specialists and would entitle veterans enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system to see a private doctor twice a year without a co-pay, according to The Hill. The reform package, called the VA Mission Act, also includes $5.2 billion to keep the Veterans Choice Program funded until the implementation of the new system.A new survey of 237 oncologists nationwide found that approximately 80% discuss medical marijuana with their patients, NPR reported. Although less than 30% of them feel they have sufficient knowledge to advise them about medical use, nearly half do recommend medical marijuana for their patients. The survey also indicated that the majority of conversations about medical marijuana were initiated by the patient.