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FDA approves extended-release, single-entity hydrocodone product with abuse-deterrent properties

November 28, 2014 Comments off

FDA approves extended-release, single-entity hydrocodone product with abuse-deterrent properties
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Hysingla ER (hydrocodone bitartrate), an extended-release (ER) opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Hysingla ER has approved labeling describing the product’s abuse-deterrent properties consistentwith the FDA’s 2013 draft guidance for industry, Abuse-Deterrent Opioids – Evaluation and Labeling.

Hysingla ER has properties that are expected to reduce, but not totally prevent, abuse of the drug when chewed and then taken orally, or crushed and snorted or injected. The tablet is difficult to crush, break or dissolve. It also forms a viscous hydrogel (thick gel) and cannot be easily prepared for injection. The FDA has determined that the physical and chemical properties of Hysingla ER are expected to make abuse by these routes difficult. However, abuse of Hysingla ER by these routes is still possible. It is important to note that taking too much Hysingla ER, whether by intentional abuse or by accident, can cause an overdose that may result in death.

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Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Highlights

  • In 2011, approximately 15.8 million adults or 6.7 percent of the adult U.S. population received treatment for cancer. This represents an increase from 2001, when 10.2 million adults or 4.8 percent of the population reported receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Medical spending to treat cancer increased from $56.8 billion in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $88.3 billion in 2011.
  • Ambulatory expenditures for care and treatment of cancer increased from $25.5 billion in 2001 to $43.8 billion in 2011.
  • Expenditures on retail prescription medications for cancer increased from $2.0 billion in 2001 to $10.0 billion in 2011.
  • Mean annual retail prescription drug expenditures for those with an expense related to cancer increased more than three times, from $201 per person in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $634 per person in 2011.
  • Inpatient hospital expenditures accounted for 47 percent of total spending for cancer treatment in 2001, but fell to 35 percent of the total by 2011.

The U.S. Health Workforce: State Profiles

November 20, 2014 Comments off

The U.S. Health Workforce: State Profiles
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

The State Profiles provide data on 35 types of health workers – from physicians, nurses, and dentists to counselors, physical therapists, laboratory technicians, nursing assistants, and others.

They are companion documents to the U.S. Health Workforce Chartbook and were developed to make data on the U.S. health workforce more readily available to diverse users.

Ebola Virus Disease Cluster in the United States — Dallas County, Texas, 2014

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Ebola Virus Disease Cluster in the United States — Dallas County, Texas, 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Since March 10, 2014, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have experienced the largest known Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic with approximately 13,000 persons infected as of October 28, 2014 (1,2). Before September 25, 2014, only four patients with Ebola had been treated in the United States; all of these patients had been diagnosed in West Africa and medically evacuated to the United States for care.

See also: Response to Importation of a Case of Ebola Virus Disease — Ohio, October 2014

Energy Drinks

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Energy Drinks
Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Bottom Line:

  • Although there’s very limited data that caffeine-containing energy drinks may temporarily improve alertness and physical endurance, evidence that they enhance strength or power is lacking. More important, they can be dangerous because large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart rhythm, blood flow, and blood pressure problems.
  • There’s not enough evidence to determine the effects of additives other than caffeine in energy drinks.
  • The amounts of caffeine in energy drinks vary widely, and the actual caffeine content may not be identified easily.

Distribution of U.S. Health Care Providers Residing in Rural and Urban Areas

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Distribution of U.S. Health Care Providers Residing in Rural and Urban Areas (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

Key Findings

  • Among rural residents, there are proportionately more providers in occupations that require fewer years of education and training. Among urban residents, there are proportionately more providers in occupations that require greater years of education and training.
  • Some sectors of the health care workforce have proportionately fewer providers living in rural areas, regardless of amounts of education and training.

HHS OIG — CMS Needs To Do More To Improve Medicaid Children’s Utilization of Preventive Screening Services

November 18, 2014 Comments off

CMS Needs To Do More To Improve Medicaid Children’s Utilization of Preventive Screening Services
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

Summary

WHY WE DID THIS STUDY
In a 2010 report entitled Most Medicaid Children in Nine States Are Not Receiving All Required Preventive Screening Services, OEI-05-08-00520, OIG found that children enrolled in Medicaid were not receiving all required Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) screenings. In addition, OIG also found that children who received medical screenings were not receiving complete medical screenings. The 2010 OIG report recommended improvements in both areas. CMS concurred, or partially concurred, with the recommendations. This memorandum report describes the steps that CMS has taken since the OIG’s 2010 report to encourage children’s participation in EPSDT screenings and to ensure that providers deliver complete medical screenings.

HOW WE DID THIS STUDY
We conducted structured interviews with the CMS staff responsible for EPSDT and four representatives from a national workgroup that CMS created to address EPSDT issues. We also reviewed documents provided by CMS or workgroup representatives, including informational bulletins, strategy guides, Web seminars, and workgroup reports. In addition, we reviewed States’ reports on EPSDT participation from 2006-2013, as well as the national aggregate reports for those same years.

WHAT WE FOUND
We found that CMS has taken actions toward encouraging participation in EPSDT screenings and toward encouraging the delivery of all components of medical screenings, but that it has not fully addressed OIG’s recommendations. Further, we found that children’s participation in EPSDT medical screenings remained lower than established goals. Although the national participation ratio improved from 56 percent in 2006 to 63 percent in 2013, both ratios are below the Secretary’s goal of 80 percent participation.

Given the results of our review, OIG considers all four of the recommendations from the 2010 report to remain open. This report contains no new recommendations, but we reiterate the following recommendations from 2010: CMS should (1) require States to report vision and hearing screenings, (2) collaborate with States and providers to develop effective strategies to encourage beneficiary participation in EPSDT screenings, (3) collaborate with States and providers to develop education and incentives for providers to encourage complete medical screenings, and (4) identify and disseminate promising State practices for increasing children’s participation in EPSDT screenings and providers’ delivery of complete medical screenings.

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