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'Deaths of despair' hit a record high in 2017. See the rise, charted.

March 15, 2019

Deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide—so-called "deaths of despair"—in 2017 hit the highest rate since the collection of data on the deaths started two decades ago, according to an analysis from the Trust for America's Health and the Well Being Trust.

Medicaid reforms, Medicare cuts, and more: Inside Trump's FY 2020 budget

March 12, 2019

The White House on Monday released President Trump's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, which includes steep cuts to federal Medicaid funding, a national Medicaid work requirement, and a proposal to cut $854 billion in federal Medicare spending over 10 years.

Weekly Line: Gottlieb's got some unfinished business. So what happens when he leaves?

March 8, 2019

Washington, D.C., often is viewed as a town of political partisanship and gridlock, and it's rare for a policymaker to break free from those preconceptions.

FDA OKs new depression treatment for first time in decades—but it comes with a strong warning

March 6, 2019

FDA on Tuesday approved a nasal spray antidepressant derived from the anesthetic ketamine to treat adults with severe depression who do not respond to other treatments, but the agency included a boxed warning on the drug and has stipulated that it can only be administered in a health care facility.

The US is bad at treating chronic pain. Here are 5 ways researchers want to do better.

February 28, 2019

Chronic pain treatment is an ongoing challenge in the United States, but scientists are working on a variety of ways to improve how pain is measured and managed—without the help of opioids.

Purdue execs intentionally downplayed OxyContin's strength, Propublica reports after obtaining sealed testimony

February 22, 2019

Richard Sackler, a former executive at Purdue Pharmaceuticals, allegedly agreed to an internal plan to conceal OxyContin's strength from physicians, according to sealed testimony obtained by ProPublica—but Purdue in a statement claimed the testimony "supports that the company accurately disclosed the potency of OxyContin to health care providers."

FDA, drugmakers failed to act after program showed providers inappropriately prescribed fentanyl, study finds

February 20, 2019

FDA and drugmakers failed to take action when a federal program designed to ensure potent fentanyl painkillers are distributed and prescribed appropriately showed providers were inappropriately prescribing the drugs to patients who did not qualify for them, according to a new study.

Weekly Line: Opioids killed 47,500 people in 2017. But the death count is only the tip of the iceberg.

February 15, 2019

The United States opioid epidemic killed more than 47,500 people in 2017. 

In the states: California exchange officials call for a reinsurance program, Kentucky delays Medicaid work requirements, and more

February 8, 2019

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

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