Trending News Today: Aetna to Sell Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Business

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

GW Pharmaceuticals announced it would bring its marijuana-based treatment Epidiolex to market within the next 6 weeks following the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision to give the drug a Schedule V classification, Reuters reported. According to the article, the Schedule V classification is the lowest of the 5 schedules in which controlled substances are categorized, marking the drug as a chemical with medicinal properties and low abuse potential. Epidiolex is made up of cannabidiol and contains less than 0.1% of tetrahydrocannabinol, the article reported.

Aetna said on Thursday that it plans to sell its Medicare prescription drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans Inc, The Hill reported. According to the article, the sale is contingent on the approval of Aetna’s merger with CVS Health, which requires approval by the Department of Justice and other regulators. Aetna announced that the sale “is a significant step toward completing the DOJ’s review of the CVS Health Transaction,” the article reported.

Both adults who avoid alcohol and those who consume the equivalent of 7 glasses of wine or more a week are more likely than light drinkers to develop dementia later in life, Reuters reported. According to the article, a study found that the increased risk of dementia from heavy drinking may be directly caused by nutritional deficits and the toxic effects of alcohol in the brain, as well as by disorders that are common among heavy drinkers. The authors also found that abstinence from alcohol is associated with the higher likelihood of having heart disease or diabetes, which may partly explain the increased risk of dementia, the article reported.