The Health News USA January 19 2018

  • Walmart said it will provide customers filling prescriptions for opioids with a packet of powder that will help them dispose of leftover medication in order to help curb misuse and abuse. The company said patients filling any new class II opioid prescriptions at its pharmacies will receive a free packet of the product – called DisposeRx – when filling a new prescription. The company said that patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free packet every 6 months.
  • An estimated 3.2 million Americans became uninsured during President Trump’s first year, Gallup said Tuesday in a survey that says rising premiums, declining competition in Obamacare markets and confusion over the GOP’s repeal plans drove the losses. The polling company said the uninsured rate stood at 12.% at the end of last year, an increase of 1.3 percentage points since the close of 2016.
  • Chinese bidders are circling a diabetes care business owned by the world’s largest healthcare company Johnson & Johnson in a deal that could fetch up to four billion dollars, five people with direct knowledge told Reuters. New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J said in January last year it was evaluating options for its diabetes care companies, specifically LifeScan, Animas, and Calibra Medical. It said that one option was a sale of the business.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/01/17/walmart-takes-on-opioid-crisis-in-free-disposal-program.html

Walmart said it will provide customers filling prescriptions for opioids with a packet of powder that will help them dispose of leftover medication in order to help curb misuse and abuse.
The company said patients filling any new class two opioid prescriptions at its pharmacies will receive a free packet of the product – called DisposeRx – when filling a new prescription.

The company added that patients with chronic Class two opioid prescriptions will be offered a free packet every six months.
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In order to safely dispose of opioids, patients would add warm water and the DisposeRx powder to their pill bottle, which then forms a biodegradable gel around the pills. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids were involved in over forty two thousand deaths in two thousand sixteen. In October, President Donald Trump declared the problem a national public health emergency. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people misusing prescription opioids get them from family and friends.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/16/uninsured-rate-rose-donald-trumps-first-year-gallu/

An estimated three point two million Americans became uninsured during President Trump’s first year, Gallup said Tuesday in a survey that says rising premiums, declining competition in Obamacare markets and confusion over the GOP’s repeal plans drove the losses. The polling company said the uninsured rate stood at twelve point two percent at the end of last year, an increase of one point three percentage points since the close of two thousand sixteen.

It is the largest single-year increase that Gallup has measured since it started keeping track a decade ago. Every demographic group saw an increase in uninsured persons last year — except those over age sixty five, who qualify for Medicare. Blacks, Hispanics and households earning thirty six thousand dollars or less saw their uninsured rates spike the most.

Pollsters blamed a series of factors for the increase. Obamacare continues to fall short of enrollment targets, prompting many insurers to raise rates or drop out of the program because they’re losing money on a market that has too many pricey, sicker customers. Gallup said the premium hikes and lack of competition might have scared off customers, especially ones who don’t qualify for taxpayer-funded subsidies on the program’s web exchanges.

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Republicans ultimately repeal the “individual mandate” requiring people to get covered or pay an IRS penalty as part of its tax overhaul at the end of the year. The uninsured rate is still far below the peak of eighteen percent that Gallup measured in the third quarter of  two thousand thirteen, or right before Obamacare’s exchanges launched and dozens of states vastly expanded their Medicaid rolls under the law.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/17/johnson-johnson-selling-lifescan-other-diabetes-businesses.html

Chinese bidders are circling a diabetes care business owned by the world’s largest healthcare company Johnson & Johnson in a deal that could fetch up to four billion dollars. New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J said in January last year it was evaluating options for its diabetes care companies, specifically LifeScan, Animas, and Calibra Medical. It said that one option was a sale of the business.
….
LifeScan makes devices to monitor blood glucose levels, which are key to controlling diabetes. Animas and Calibras — which J&J acquired in two thousand twelve — make insulin delivery devices. In October, Animas, which makes insulin pumps, said it would shut its business in the United States and Canada amid increased competition and after failing to find a buyer. Chinese interest in the J&J unit comes as the market for diabetes care in China is expected to grow rapidly. Almost one in three of the world’s diabetes sufferers lives in China, according to World Health Organisation estimates.

Among the potential bidders is a consortium being formed by Shenzhen-listed Sinocare, which develops and manufactures blood sugar monitoring systems, and China Jianyin Investment (JIC), a unit of sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation. The group has hired an advisor to work on a bid.

According to BMI Research, Asia accounts for more than sixty percent of global diabetes cases, with increasing levels of wealth, unhealthy diets and more sedentary lifestyles sparking “diabetes epidemics” in the region. George Lin, chief financial officer of Hua Medicine, a diabetes-focused drug developer, told Reuters on Wednesday that according to the most recent market research there were more than one hundred ten million diabetes patients in China alone.

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