Trending News Today: Number of Opioid Prescriptions Drop 5 Years in a Row

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

The National Institutes of Health launched a large-scale study to determine whether organ transplants between patients with HIV are safe, NPR reported. According to the article, the trial will assess the risks of transplanting kidneys from HIV-positive donors into patients also living with the virus by tracking 160 kidney transplants, half receiving HIV-positive kidneys and half receiving virus-free organs. This will allow physicians to more accurately predict risk after these transplants and offer the procedure to more patients with HIV on the transplant waiting list, the article reported.

A report from the American Medical Association has found that the number of opioid prescriptions issued nationwide has dropped for 5 years in a row, The Hill reported. According to the article, the number of opioid prescriptions fell by 22% between 2013 and 2017, and the report indicated that there were 55 million fewer prescriptions over that time period. Additionally, the report found that there was a 121% increase between 2016 and 2017 in physicians accessing electronic databases that track opioid prescribing and can help identify abuse.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed into law a bill imposing an individual mandate for health insurance to replace a federal requirement that Congress repealed, according to The Hill. The article reported that the move makes New Jersey the second state to require health care coverage and impose a penalty on residents without it. The governor also signed a bill providing funding aimed at lower premiums, known as “reinsurance.”