National News

Rand Paul's Coronavirus Diagnosis Sends Shockwaves Through Senate
Republicans gathered for a closed-door caucus lunch when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) broke the news: One of their own, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), had tested positive for the coronavirus. "Colleagues, as everyone now knows, the coronavirus has arrived in the Senate. There are at least five senators who are in self-quarantine at the moment," McConnell said, making a public announcement from the Senate floor. The first known case of a senator contracting the disease set off a domino effect throughout the chamber as colleagues tried to recall the last time they were in close contact with Paul, who was in the Capitol complex as recently as Sunday.
By Carney, Published in The Hill

Trump Orders National Guard, Building Of Medical Facilities In NY, Calif., Wash.
President Trump on Sunday said the National Guard had been activated in New York, California and Washington and that the federal government would provide additional resources to help those states combat the coronavirus. "We're dealing also with other states. These states have been hit the hardest," Trump said at a news briefing at the White House.
By Samuels, Published in The Hill
FDA Warns New At-Home Coronavirus Tests Are 'Unauthorized'
As a wave of at-home tests for coronavirus are coming on the market, federal regulators issued stern guidance saying that none of them has yet been approved for use and warning consumers to be wary of "unauthorized fraudulent test kits." Hours after STAT reported on Friday that at least four startups would roll out at-home tests over the next week, the Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying: "We want to alert the American public that, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for Covid-19."
By Brodwin, Published In Stat
Coronavirus Vaccines Are Far Off, FDA Official Says, But Drugs To Treat Patients Could Come Sooner
New drugs to treat patients already infected with the novel coronavirus, which has sparked outbreaks across multiple continents, will emerge much more quickly than vaccines to prevent infection, a top Food and Drug Administration official said Wednesday. "The development of a vaccine is not going to prevent a pandemic here," Peter Marks, the director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told STAT at the SVB Leerink Global Healthcare Conference, ahead of a keynote presentation there. And getting a vaccine ready for pivotal testing is going to take more than just a few months, he said.
By Herper and Garde, Published in Stat
Tracking Drugs In The Supply Chain Still Hampered By Poor Paperwork
As Americans debate whether to import prescription drugs from Canada to relieve rising costs, a new government report finds that 16% of medicines examined could not be traced back to their manufacturers, underscoring ongoing concerns about the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Specifically, documentation was lacking or mismatched for six of 44 so-called high-risk prescription drugs, although in one instance, a wholesaler refused to provide paperwork, according to the report from the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, which reviewed Medicare Part D claims that were billed between January and May 2018.
By Silverman, Published in Stat
How The Drug Lobby Lost Its Mojo In Washington
The drug industry doesn't pack the lobbying punch it once did, and one sign is something rare in the capital today-a dose of bipartisanship. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) joined Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) to write a bill last July to regulate prescription-drug prices, an idea the industry has bottled up since the 1960s. Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) sponsored a bill in May to block drug companies from using patent laws to delay lower-priced drugs.
By Mullins and Armour, Published in The Wall Street Journal
State News

Forges Ahead On A New Model For Health Care While Nation Waits
Since gaining control of the House, Senate and governor's office, Colorado Democrats are pushing an aggressive health care agenda. With measures to create a public insurance option, welcome drug importation, lower drug prices, curtail surprise billing and cap insulin copays, the state is becoming a likely model for health policies at the federal level.
By Markian Hawryluk
University Says Students Tested Positive For Coronavirus After Spring Break Trip
The University of Tampa said Saturday that five of its students who travelled together during their spring break recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus. "UT has been notified that five UT students, traveling together and with other UT students during Spring Break, have tested positive for COVID-19," the university said in a tweet on Saturday. The university did not disclose the names of the students, nor where they travelled during the break, which was scheduled for the school earlier this month.
By Folley, Published in The Hill
Gov. Baker Asks President Not To Outbid States On COVID-19 Supplies
It was Gov. Charlie Baker's turn to speak to President Trump during a governor's conference call Thursday. Baker wanted to know why Massachusetts was outbid for COVID-19 supplies by the federal government. "We took seriously the push you made not to rely on the stockpile," Baker said. "I got to tell you we lost to the feds ... If states are doing what the feds want and trying to create their own supply chain, then people should be responsive. I've got a feeling that if somebody has a chance to sell to you or to me, I'm going to lose every one of those."
By Becker, Published by WBUR
New Jersey
Needy Patients 'Caught In The Middle' As Insurance Titan Drops Doctors
UnitedHealthcare is dropping hundreds of physicians from its New Jersey Medicaid network, separating patients from longtime doctors. Physicians charge the insurer is using its market power to shift business to practices it controls.
By Phil Galewitz

New York
Coronavirus In N.Y.C.: Region Is Now An Epicenter Of The Pandemic
Three weeks after its first coronavirus infection was discovered, the New York City region reached an alarming milestone on Sunday: It now accounts for roughly 5 percent of the world's confirmed cases, making it an epicenter of the pandemic and increasing pressure on officials to take more drastic measures. Moving to stem the crisis on multiple fronts, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York pleaded with federal officials to nationalize the manufacturing of medical supplies and ordered New York City to crack down on people congregating in public. He suggested some streets could be closed, allowing pedestrians more space.
By McKinley, Published in The New York Times
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PFOA-MS Board of Directors
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For Board of Directors contact information, please call 314-843-5977