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What We're Reading: State-Based ACA Exchange; Surgeon General on Marijuana Use; HCV Drugs and Liver Impairment


Maine wants to take more control over its Affordable Care Act marketplace; Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, has issued an advisory against marijuana use in young people and pregnant people; the FDA is warning of rare occurrences of serious liver injury from use of 3 hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs.

Maine Moves to Implement State-Based ACA Exchange

Maine Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, told CMS on Thursday that the state wants to take over its Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange’s outreach, marketing, and consumer assistance functions beginning 2021 while continuing to use the government’s ACA enrollment platform, reported Modern Healthcare. Mills also said that the state will explore shifting to a fully state-run exchange in the future. According to the governor, shifting to a state-based exchange will allow Maine to customize outreach to individuals and small businesses and to better coordinate with insurers and enrollment workers.

Surgeon General Cautions Against Certain Marijuana Use

As more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, is cautioning against its use in young people and pregnant people, citing the risks to developing brains. According to Politico, this is the first advisory on marijuana from the office since 1982. HHS officials said that the best research suggests that no amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or among youth is safe. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that while some states’ laws on the drug have changed, “the science has not and the federal law has not.”

FDA Warns of Rare Liver Injury Associated With Hepatitis C Drugs

The FDA has issued a safety announcement following reports of worsening liver function or liver failure associated with 3 different treatments for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients with moderate to severe liver impairment: Mavyret, Zepatier, and Vosevi. According to the FDA, all 3 medications contain a HCV protease inhibitor and are not indicated for use in patients with moderate to severe liver impairment. In most reported cases, the symptoms resolved or new onset of worsening liver function improved after stopping the medication.

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