Trending News Today: Fewer Sign Ups for Obamacare Compared With Last Year

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

Two new studies suggest many pharmacies do not stock naloxone or make it easily available, despite state laws expanding access to the opioid overdose antidote without a prescription, Reuters reported. According to the article, fewer than 1 in 4 pharmacies in California reported providing naloxone without a prescription in a survey and only approximately half of pharmacies had it in stock. One of the studies found that in Texas, 84% of pharmacies said they would give naloxone to customers without a prescription, but only 69% had it in stock.

New data indicate that fewer people are enrolling in Obamacare plans this year compared with a similar period last year, The Hill reported. According to the article, approximately 1.2 million people signed up for Obamacare plans in the first 10 days of this year’s sign-up period compared with 1.5 million last year. For the first time since Obamacare was passed, there is no penalty for not having insurance, which could lead to fewer sign ups, the article reported.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), who is set to become chairman of the House of Energy and Commerce Committee, announced his top priorities on drug pricing, The Hill reported. According to the article, Pallone said he would focus on allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and speeding the approval of cheaper generic drugs. Pallone also mentioned moving forward with the Creates Act, which would target stalling tactics used by drug manufacturers to prevent generic competition from entering the market, the article reported.