News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/16/2018

Researchers created a web-based game, using a smartphone and a Fitbit, that increased the number of steps sedentary office workers took per day by 2,092, or almost 1 mile, compared with workers who only had a Fitbit, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The gains made from using MapTrek with a Fitbit were short-lived, however, as step counts for players in both groups decreased during the 10-week study period.

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MapTrek
7/16/2018

Sixty-one percent of adverse event cases related to cough and cold medicines containing opioids and over-the-counter ingredients among youths younger than 12 involved hydrocodone, according to a study in Clinical Toxicology. Researchers also found that higher odds of lethargy, somnolence, and/or respiratory depression in nonfatal hydrocodone cases, compared with nonfatal codeine cases.

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hydrocodone, cough, codeine
7/16/2018

A study in JAMA Network Open showed that the rate of depression among pregnant women ages 19 to 24 increased from 17% in 1990-1992 to 25% in 2012-2016. Lead author Rebecca Pearson attributes the increase to several factors, including financial strain and social media use, as well as a general increase in depression and anxiety among young women.

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depression, JAMA Network
7/16/2018

Adopting unhealthy dietary and lifestyle patterns increased the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Asian Indians, according to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting. Researchers used a cohort of 1,038 adult Asian Indians who had been living in the US for 18.5 years, average age of 48.5, and found that physical activity mediated the relationship between HDL cholesterol and acculturation, while dietary behavior mediated the relationship between A1C and acculturation.

7/16/2018

The Clark County School District in Las Vegas is switching from manual menu planning to Nutrislice, which will give parents and students more nutrition information about the foods served during school meals. The program also will allow parents and students to rate meals.

7/16/2018

Rebates negotiated by pharmacy benefit managers have saved Medicare Part D nearly $35 billion since 2014, according to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

7/16/2018

In June 2017, Joe Jimenez, who was then CEO of Novartis, sent an email to Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for President Donald Trump, outlining ideas for reducing drug prices, and some of those recommendations were included in a Trump administration blueprint issued in May. One suggestion was to change the system of rebates that pharmacy benefit managers negotiate with drugmakers.

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The Hill
7/16/2018

Patients for Affordable Drugs chastised some Democrats for endorsing a letter "apparently instigated by drug corporations" calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to reconsider a provision in the latest budget requiring drugmakers to absorb 70% of the costs of their drugs for seniors in the Medicare Part D coverage gap.

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Big Pharma, Paul Ryan
7/16/2018

Express Scripts has explored ways for makers of brand-name drugs "to introduce products with lower list prices for products that currently have high list prices and high rebates," but the pharmacy benefit manager has received no commitments from drugmakers to reduce list prices.

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Express Scripts
7/16/2018

A bundle of bills aimed at expanding health savings accounts and reducing employer health benefit costs passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee and moved to the full US House for consideration. The package includes bills that add health treatments, services and over-the-counter drugs to allowable HSA expenses, and expand the definition of high-deductible health plans to include Affordable Care Act bronze and catastrophic plans.

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