Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced on Monday that the US government will propose requiring pharmaceutical companies to include the price of their prescription drugs in television ads, Reuters reported. According to the article, Azar said HHS would soon propose a rule that would force companies to include list prices paid by the government’s Medicare or Medicaid programs in direct-to-consumer commercials. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that the proposed rule would work to increase transparency and give beneficiaries the information they need to make informed decisions based on cost, the article reported.
Health insurer Anthem has agreed to pay the government a record $16 million to settle potential privacy violations in the biggest known health care data breach in US history, the Associated Press reported. According to the article, the personal information of nearly 79 million individuals including names, Social Security numbers, and medical IDs was exposed in the cyberattack. The settlement between Anthem and the HHS is the largest amount collected by the agency in a health care data breach, the article reported.
Health officials have reported the first flu-related death of the season, The Hill reported. According to the article, a child in Florida who was diagnosed with influenza B and was not vaccinated died from the disease. Last flu season, the CDC estimated that 80,000 US individuals died from the flu and its complications, the most deaths in at least 4 decades, the article reported.