Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
President Barack Obama recently announced that enrollment in health plans sold on Affordable Care Act marketplaces reached an all-time high for a single day earlier this month. Obama announced that 670,000 individuals signed up for plans on December 15, 2016, the original due date to sign up for a plan, according to The Washington Post. The previous year only saw 600,000 sign ups on that date, while this year’s enrollment surpassed the record by 70,000.
Executives at Olympus Corporation have been invoking their Fifth Amendment rights to prevent incriminating themselves during a federal investigation. The company is being investigated due to a recent deadly outbreak of a superbug related to their duodenoscopes, which are used for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, a procedure used to diagnose and treat conditions related to the pancreas and bile ducts. There have been 35 reported deaths in the United States related to the scope’s use since 2013, which is when a company executive allegedly failed to issue the warning, despite reports of superbug infections in various hospitals, according to California Healthline.
A newly-created 4-drug cocktail will avoid the $3000 cost of secobarbital (Seconal), a sleeping pill often prescribed to aid patients in dying. Since Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired the drug, they doubled its cost, which could prevent certain patients from having access to Seconal due to the cost. This is the second time that advocates for the right-to-die law have created an alternative to Seconal. This new cocktail has been launched at the same time Colorado’s aid-in-dying law takes effect, Kaiser Health News reported.