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In the states: Efforts to stem disease outbreaks in Calif. and N.C., a spike in fentanyl-related deaths in Utah, and more

December 8, 2017

American Health Line rounds up the latest health care news in the states.

Trump, House Democrats move to boost funding to combat opioid misuse

December 4, 2017

President Trump is donating his third-quarter presidential salary to HHS for efforts to combat the opioid misuse epidemic, and acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan says the department will use the funds to plan "and design … a large-scale public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid" misuse.

Trump’s HHS secretary nominee unveils his top 4 priorities

November 30, 2017

Alex Azar, President Trump’s nominee for HHS secretary, says lowering prescription drug prices would be one of his top four priorities if confirmed and addresses concerns about his background as a pharmaceutical executive.

The three latest steps DOJ is taking to combat opioid misuse

November 30, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Robert Patterson, the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) acting administrator, unveil three new initiatives to combat the United States' opioid misuse epidemic, including creating a new DEA field office in Louisville, Kentucky.

The two primary medications for opioid misuse are similarly effective, but experts still have concerns

November 29, 2017

Some experts are touting the study's findings that Vivitrol and Suboxone are comparatively effective once initiated, but others are concerned that the study found a gap in the rates of how many people were able to start Vivitrol compared with Suboxone.

How FDA will regulate generic misuse-deterrent Rx opioids

November 27, 2017

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says new final guidance on generic misuse-deterrent opioid drugs "is one piece of … FDA's ongoing work aimed at finding solutions to combat the opioid [misuse] crisis."

The top 10 challenges facing HHS

November 21, 2017

HHS' Office of Inspector General in a new report lists the top management and performance challenges facing HHS, including addressing the U.S. opioid misuse epidemic; ensuring program integrity for Medicare and Medicaid; and ensuring that the country's drugs, food, and medical devices are safe.

White House says opioid misuse cost US more than $500B in 2015

November 21, 2017

The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the cost of the U.S. opioid misuse epidemic in 2015 was equivalent to about 3% of the national total annual gross domestic product.

FDA approves first device to relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms

November 17, 2017

The NSS-2 Bridge, manufactured by Innovative Health Solutions, is a small battery-powered cranial nerve stimulator that emits electrical pulses to provide patients with relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms—such as anxiety, joint pain, and sweating.

Hospitals showed quality improvements in 2016, boosted reporting, Joint Commission finds

November 16, 2017

Despite strong performance on individual care categories, hospitals' overall accountability score declined in 2016, though the Joint Commission says the decline likely stemmed from the retirement of 14 measures used in the scoring for 2015.

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