National News

F.D.A. Warns Purell To Stop Claiming It Can Prevent Ebola Or Flu
The Food and Drug Administration has warned the maker of Purell hand sanitizers to stop claiming its products can prevent people from catching the flu, Ebola virus, the MRSA superbug and norovirus. In a notice dated Jan. 17, the F.D.A. told Purell's maker, Gojo Industries, that its unsubstantiated claims that Purell could reduce the potential for infection or prevent illnesses violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The agency said it was reclassifying Purell as an unapproved drug, rather than an over-the-counter product.
By Kaplan, Published in The New York Times
Trump Administration To Offer States Medicaid Block Grant Option
Top Trump administration health officials are inviting states to convert part of Medicaid into a block grant - a longtime conservative goal Congress rejected more than two years ago. A letter to every state Medicaid director, to be dispatched Thursday, will offer the possibility of trading away an entitlement program that expands and contracts depending on how many poor people need the government health coverage. In exchange, for able-bodied adults in the program, states could apply to receive a fixed federal payment and freedom from many of the program's rules, according to several individuals familiar with the plans.
By Goldstein, Published in The Washington Post
'Magic Mushroom' Drug Reduces Anxiety And Depression In Cancer Patients For Five Years
A single dose of psilocybin, a compound found in "magic mushrooms," provides long-term relief of anxiety and depression in cancer patients, a new study finds. In fact, cancer patients who were given psilocybin reported reductions in anxiety, depression, hopelessness, demoralization, and death anxiety more than four years after receiving the dose in combination with psychotherapy.
By Senthilingam,, Published by CNN
McKesson Reaches $175M Deal With Shareholders Over Lax Opioid Oversight
As pressure mounts on pharmaceutical wholesalers over their role in the opioid crisis, McKesson (MCK) agreed to pay $175 million to settle a lawsuit filed by investors who claimed the big distributor failed to properly oversee suspicious shipments of the addictive painkillers. Besides the payout, McKesson also agreed to take several steps to bolster corporate governance, including separating the roles of the chairman and chief executive officer, creating term limits for board members, reforming the board compliance committee, generating board reports concerning complaints about compliance issues, and toughening clawback policies for executives who fail to perform properly, according to the stipulation agreement.
By Silverman, Published by Stat
When Insurers Don't Cover Drugs, Prescriptions Often Go Unfilled
The majority of Americans have health insurance that includes coverage for prescription drugs. But unfortunately that doesn't ensure that they can afford the specific drugs their doctors prescribe for them. In fact, many Americans report that their insurance plans sometimes don't cover a drug they need - and nearly half the people whom this happens to say they simply don't fill the prescription. That's according to a poll released this month on income inequality from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
By Neighmond, Published by NPR
How Contentious Is Drug Pricing In Washington? Check The Receipts
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the 31 other major drug makers that belong to the trade group PhRMA together spent more than $120 million lobbying Congress in 2019, according to recently released federal disclosures. That helped pay for an army of over 450 lobbyists who helped the drug makers and their trade group vehemently oppose the sweeping proposals lawmakers and the Trump administration put forth in their efforts to lower prescription drug prices. PhRMA also broke its all-time annual lobbying record this year. It spent $28.9 million in 2019, surpassing its previous record of $27.5 million, set last year.
By Florko, Published by Stat
State News

Could CA Make Its Own Insulin As Part Of Newsom's Drug Plan?
Lowering health costs emerged as a major part of Gov. Gavin Newsom's 2020 agenda earlier this month when he unveiled plans to get state government in the business of selling prescription drugs. California would be the first state to create its own drug label, which would contract with existing manufacturers to produce lower-cost drugs. Newsom said he's already in negotiations related to the plan.
By Bollag, Published in Sacramento Bee
Genetic Information Bill Finds Quick Support
Incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls had little trouble convincing members of a House health-care panel to approve legislation that would prohibit life-insurance, long-term care insurance and disability-insurance companies from using customers' genetic information in changing, denying or canceling policies. Florida would become the first state to have such a law if Sprowls' proposal is ultimately passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
By Sexton, Published in Health News Florida
Medicaid Report Finds $72 Million PBM Spread
The Maryland Department of Health released a report showing PBMs serving the state Medicaid plan pocket $72 million through spread pricing. As a result of the audits, the department will prohibit spread pricing beginning in 2021 and recommended additional Medicaid reforms to prevent pharmacy access issues, particularly for rural patients.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Bill To Allow Remote Pharmacies
People will be able to pick up prescriptions at certain pharmacies in Michigan that are not staffed by an on-site pharmacist under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The measure enacted last week allows for "remote" pharmacies, which proponents support as a way to expand access to pharmacy services and improve health outcomes in rural and underserved areas. Pharmacists at "parent" pharmacies will be able to use a real-time audio and video link to review a prescription before it is dispensed by pharmacy technicians.
Published by The Associated Press
Missouri Awards 192 Dispensary Licenses For Medical Marijuana Program
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services began awarding the 192 state medical marijuana dispensary licenses on Thursday. According to the constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2018, the department was required to license at least 192 dispensaries, 24 in each of Missouri's eight congressional districts. This means DHSS could have awarded more licenses, but they want to see if the minimum number can meet demand.
By Driscoll, Published by St Louis Public Radio 1/23
Dallas County Reports 11th Flu-Related Death 
A 34-Year-Old Dallas County reported its 11th flu-related death of the 2019-20 season Wednesday. The patient was a 34-year-old Dallas County resident who did not have any underlying medical conditions, according to the county's Health and Human Services department. The department did not release the patient's name, citing privacy reasons. Health officials are working to determine whether two additional deaths - both children - were caused by the flu.
By Steele, Published by Dallas Morning News
Health Records Firm Agrees To $145M Fine, The Largest Ever In Vermont
An electronic health records company is paying the largest criminal fine in Vermont's history, stemming from allegations it illegally took a kickback from an unnamed pharmaceutical company in an effort to sell more of its "extended release opioid" medications. ... Nolan's office found Practice Fusion and the drug company had conspired to target people who were "opioid naive" - those who had never been prescribed an opioid - and to encourage doctors to move patients using the immediate release drugs to the extended release drugs.
By Dawson, Published in VT Digger
PFOA Board of Directors
Todd Pendergraft

Dirk Andrepont
David Spence
Doug Coyle

Gabriel Guijarro
Ty Stout
Phil Rigsby

Gaye Moseman
John Zuzak

Larry McIntosh

Eric Pusey 

PFOA-MS Board of Directors
Doug Coyle
David Cole

Phil Rigsby

PFOA-MC Board of Directors

Eric Pusey
Gene Windom
Bobbie Barbrey

For Board of Directors contact information, please call 314-843-5977