Patients with HIV were met with significant challenges due to Hurricane Harvey, including pharmacies being closed and floodwaters ruining drugs, according to Kaiser Health News. Houston, TX, residents even fled to other states to fill their prescriptions, the report noted. Without HIV treatment, many patients were concerned that their viral load would increase and they would eventually develop drug resistance, according to the article.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently said it is considering approaching drug cost control in a new way, especially for high-cost gene therapy, according to Reuters. Currently, the CMS does not negotiate drug costs, which many have argued can result in higher costs for seniors. However, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that the agency plans to take action to increase competition and help Medicare engage in negotiations, according to the article.
Yesterday, House Democrats proposed a new bill that would provide $45 billion in funding to combat the opioid epidemic, according to The Hill. Lawmakers have previously advocated for increased funding to make President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration effective. The novel bill is a companion to other legislation signed by nearly 20 Democratic Senators, according to the article. The funding was included in prior attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and may be used to prevent negative effects from Medicaid changes, The Hill reported.