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Trending News Today: Patient, Medical Groups Launch Campaign Opposing Medicare Changes

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.
 
Published Online: Jan 17,2019
AJPB Staff
On Wednesday, an advisory panel to the FDA voted 16 to 1 in favor of approval for Evenity, Amgen’s osteoporosis treatment for postmenopausal women at high risk for fracture, Reuters reported. According to the article, Evenity helps reduce the risk of fracture by increasing bone formation and inhibiting breakdown of bone minerals. However, the panel did raise concerns regarding cardiovascular safety risks linked to the drug, but ultimately voted that the drug’s benefits outweighed its risks, the article reported.

A group of patient advocacy and medical groups, including the American Cancer Society and American Medical Association, launched an advertising campaign opposing proposed changes to Medicare, STAT reported. According to the article, the groups say that the changes will “put patients’ lives at risk” and could delay access to lifesaving therapies. The policy changes in question would allow private Medicare prescription plans to further restrict which drugs patients can use through methods such as prior authorization or step therapy, the article reported.

A lawsuit against Purdue Pharma alleges that members of the Sackler family, who own the company, pushed to boost sales of OxyContin and other opioids despite concerns regarding the painkillers’ potential for abuse, Reuters reported. According to the article, the lawsuit was filed against Purdue by the state of Massachusetts to try to hold the family responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The company is being accused of misleading physicians and patients and misrepresenting the risks of addiction and death associated with prolonged use of opioids, the article reported.