Power. Progress. Prevention. May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

Trump expected to make drug pricing announcement

[photo of capsules and tablets]President Trump is expected to make an announcement today detailing his plans to lower prescription drug pricing. Curbing the cost of drugs was a key part of Trump’s platform during the election in 2016.

The administration had previously set multiple dates to release the plan, but all were rescheduled. Critics are concerned that the proposal will not do enough to help consumers, given Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar’s ties to drug manufacturers as the former president of Eli Lily.

Both Secretary Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma have signaled they would like to amend the fee schedule for Medicare Part B, which covers chemotherapy treatments and other physician-administered drugs. Under the current system, health care providers are reimbursed for the average cost of the drugs, plus a 6 percent add-on fee that covers the cost of administering the drug. Verma said this system does not work and “creates a perverse incentive for manufacturers to set higher prices, and for providers to pick drugs that are more expensive.”

We will continue to monitor the issue of drug pricing and provide updates as they become available.

FDA takes action on e-cigarette companies targeting teens

[e-cigarette illustration]E-cigarettes have grown immensely in popularity in the last decade. Many kids and teenagers who have never smoked traditional cigarettes before are starting to vape or smoke e-cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes e-cigarettes may be a better alternative for currently addicted adult smokers than traditional cigarettes, but there is absolutely no benefit to kids or teens using e-cigarettes.

Some e-cigarette companies are targeting young people with kid-friendly flavors and packaging that resemble candy, cookies and juice boxes.  Last week, the FDA issued warnings to e-cigarette companies using these tactics.

“No child should be using any tobacco product, and no tobacco products should be marketed in a way that endangers kids, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.  

Since e-cigarettes are relatively new devices, there are still many unknowns about the potential long-term risks. However, we do know that most e-cigarette contain nicotine (typically derived from tobacco), which causes addiction and can harm brain development. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds the FDA for cracking down on e-cigarette companies that target kids and teenagers.

May is Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month

[applying sunscreen]Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the U.S., affecting more than two million people every year. May kicks off warmer weather that makes everyone want to spend more time outside, but it’s also Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Keep these tips in mind whenever you head outside, and make it your mission this month and every month to spread the word about the dangers of the sun.

  • Use sunscreen every day: Your skin can still be damaged by the sun, even if it’s cloudy. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass through clouds and harm your skin. Whenever you head outside, lather on sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.
  • Limit your time in the sun: The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the continental United States. When you’re outside, wear wide-brimmed hats, clothing that covers your arms and legs, and sunglasses that block UV rays.
  • A tan is just as dangerous as a sunburn: Any change in skin color, whether it’s a burn or tan, is a sign of skin damage. A tan is the body’s response to UV rays damaging DNA in the skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. You look tan because the DNA has already been damaged.
  • Everyone needs sunscreen, regardless of skin color: Skin cancer is more common in those with fair skin, but people with darker toned skin can still get skin cancer, and people of color are often diagnosed at later stages. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, occurs in all races.



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