Trending News Today: Hurricane Irma Threatens the Lives of Florida Nursing Home Residents

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

The FDA is planning to revise guidelines used to approve novel products such as orphan drugs to prevent manufacturers from taking advantage of the law, according to Kaiser Health News. Currently, the Orphan Drug Act gives manufacturers tax credits, waivers, and 7 years of exclusivity for drugs approved to treat rare diseases. The agency is planning to close a gap in the law that permits companies to forgo testing in pediatric patients when developing a drug for that population, in addition to larger changes, Kaiser reported.

This week, bipartisan efforts in Congress led to a proposal that would keep funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and another effort to stabilize the insurance market. Democrats and Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also revealed a single-payer healthcare bill, while Republicans are continuing to pursue a partisan effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to Kaiser Health News. Despite the widespread support for the single-payer bill, Kaiser reports that the outcome of the bill may depend on what gains and losses it includes.

A number of patients at a nursing home in Florida have died as a result of lost power and a lack of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma, according to The New York Times. After 3 patients were rushed to the emergency room, the nursing home staff found an additional 3 patients who died, 40 others who were in critical condition, and 1 person who was already taken to a funeral home. Despite federal regulations, the residents were not evacuated and a criminal investigation was launched into the 8 deaths that occurred at the nursing home, the Times reported.