Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
Due to increased pressure from patient advocates, the FDA has approved numerous oncology drugs, which give patients hope, despite an unproven track record in increasing life expectancy. Although some drugs have been largely successful, few have been found to improve survival or quality of life, according to Kaiser Health News. Overall, only one-third of oncology drugs approved over the past 2 years have shown evidence that they improve survival.
Under the Affordable Care Act, a majority of patients do not have to pay out-of-pocket costs to receive a lung cancer screening. However, the proportion of eligible patients receiving these potentially life-saving screenings before and after the health law was enacted has barely changed. In 2010, 3.3% of eligible patients included in a survey received the screening, and 3.9% received the screening in 2015, according to Kaiser Health News.
Early this morning the Senate approved the nomination of Rep Tom Price (R-GA) as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. While the vote was close, 52 to 47, Price was confirmed by lawmakers, following questioning by Democratic legislators regarding his investments, The New York Times reported. Democrats voiced their displeasure with the nomination of Price, who has stated a preference to make significant changes to both Medicare and Medicaid.