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Jan 19, 2018

The White House once again appears poised to diminish the role of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by taking away some of its funding, according to reports.

But moving grants for the Drug-Free Communities program from ONDCP, which leads and coordinates the development, implementation, and assessment of the nation's drug policy, to the authority of HHS could actually buoy a program that often benefits providers.

A story that first appeared in Politico on Thursday...

Jan 19, 2018

Just a day after setting up a new religious freedom office, HHS released a sweeping proposed rule that will require Medicare and Mediciad providers to create standards and procedures to protect their employees' religious and moral beliefs.

The rule released Friday largely reiterated the current laws and regulations on the books that protect a medical provider's rights to refuse to perform certain procedures that conflict with their faith or morals. The CMS also issued a notice Friday...

Jan 19, 2018

The descriptions are haunting.

Some victims felt fine in the morning and were dead by night. Faces turned blue as patients coughed up blood. Stacked bodies outnumbered coffins.

A century after one of history's most catastrophic disease outbreaks, scientists are rethinking how to guard against another super-flu like the 1918 influenza that killed tens of millions as it swept the globe.

There's no way to predict what strain of the shape-shifting flu virus could trigger...

Jan 19, 2018

A government shutdown looks likely Friday as Senate Democrats, and some Republicans, stand opposed to the GOP-led measure to fund the government through Feb. 16.

The Senate is poised to vote early Friday afternoon on the continuing budget resolution passed Thursday night by the House largely along party lines. But it appears likely to fail in the upper chamber as rancor over parity spending and the unresolved immigration status of undocumented childhood arrivals reaches its breaking...

Jan 18, 2018

Generic drugmakers faced a tumultuous trading day on the stock market Thursday following the news that four large health systems plan to enter their line of business.

Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension, SSM Health and Trinity Health announced Thursday its aggressive plan to try to rein in the cost of drugs.

Pharmaceutical company stocks were down early in the day, ending with significant drops for both Teva Pharmaceuticals and Endo Pharmaceuticals, both of which make sterile...

Jan 18, 2018

Congress is at the precipice of shutting down the government, unless lawmakers can quickly agree on another short-term spending bill. And this time, the Children’s Health Insurance Program is caught in the crosshairs. Republicans are offering six years of funding for CHIP as an enticement for Democratic votes on the spending bill, but Democrats are still balking because they want the bill to include protections for undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were...

Jan 18, 2018

As threats of a government shutdown mount, senators are pitching a new stopgap strategy, which could open the door for a broader spending package that includes funding for key health programs.

The five-day spending measure would force lawmakers to once again delay what was formerly considered an all-but-certain six-year Children's Health Insurance Program funding extension in the hopes they will negotiate a broader deal.

Federal government funding runs out Friday. The success...

Jan 18, 2018

As four not-for-profit health systems unveiled plans to create their own generic drug company Thursday, experts say they'll face an uphill battle to make a significant dent in one of the fastest-growing industry expenses and persistent problems: rising drug prices and drug shortages.

Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension, SSM Health and Trinity Health are working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pool their capital and 450 total hospitals to fight back against drug...

Jan 18, 2018

The HHS on Thursday announced the creation of a religious freedom division within its Office of Civil Rights. This new unit will be tasked with asserting religious privilege for providers whose beliefs conflict with care such as abortions or consulting on sex-reassignment surgery.

The effort was met with concerns by some providers and praise by others.

Planned Parenthood called it "the latest example of this administration's efforts to block women, transgender people, and...

Jan 18, 2018

Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nation's governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for the fight against the drugs, which are killing more than 90 Americans a day.

The list of more than two dozen recommendations made Thursday by the National Governors Association is the first coordinated, bipartisan response from the nation's governors since Trump's...