Trending News Today: California Insurance Giant Seeks Shift to Tiered Pharmacy Network

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

Blue Shield has proposed a preferred pharmacy network in an effort to prevent high drug costs, according to Kaiser Health News. Consumers would still have a broad selection of pharmacies to choose from, but would need to choose a preferred pharmacy to maintain 2017’s copayment. If consumers choose a pharmacy outside of the network, they could pay up to $50 more for the same prescription. The insurer submitted the proposal to the California Department of Managed Health Care, and if approved, it would affect coverage for more than 1.8 million consumers, KHN reported.

Sealed court documents revealed that the NFL disregarded guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration on how to store, track, transport, and distribute controlled substances. The sealed documents were contained in a federal lawsuit filed by former NFL players against the league, and includes testimony and documents from team and league medical personnel. The filing describes multiple instances in which team and league officials were made aware of DEA guidelines and were either too slow in responding or failed to comply, according to Reuters. Data also showed that medical staff provided their players with powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories each season.

After reports of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu infecting a Tennessee chicken farm, poultry farmers are ramping up security to prevent another 2015 outbreak, which required the killing of millions of chickens and turkeys in the Midwest. Officials were alerted after hundreds of birds began dying at the Tennessee farm, according to the Associated Press. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified the virus as an H7N9 virus of North American wild bird origin, but stressed that it is not the same as the H7N9 virus of Chicken lineage that has infected both poultry and individuals in Asia nor the virus that caused the 2015 outbreak. The affected farm is a supplier of Tyson Foods, Inc.