Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
In California, jails and prisons have been implementing shorter treatment periods for individuals with tuberculosis based on new research showing this method was effective. This research found that a 12-week regimen with 2 drugs was just as effective as the standard treatment of 9 months with 1 drug. Individuals who were taking the shorter treatment were also more likely to finish their treatments, according to California Healthline.
President-elect Donald Trump recently disclosed that he plans to reform the FDA to make a greater focus on speedy approvals, which could mean that drugs may be approved more easily. Critics have said that doing so would get rid of standards that have been created to protect patient health, according to The Washington Post.
The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently disclosed that a specific hepatitis C virus treatment and an insulin added up to more than $11 billion in Medicare drug spending, according to The Washington Post. Generally, drugs that drove spending gradually increased, but Harvoni decreased during 2015, although it was a main driver of costs. In 2015, Medicare spent $137.4 billion on prescription drugs, with $8.7 billion attributed to price increases.