Healthcare — Pfizer plans to raise prices for COVID vaccines

A Massachusetts woman has been accused of “weaponizing bees” against a group of police officers. She wasn’t even the person the police were sent to deal with.

In health news, Pfizer is eyeing a big price hike for its coronavirus vaccine as the government’s pandemic-era contract expires.

Welcome to Overnight Health CareFollow the latest developments in policy and news that affect your health. The Hill is Nathaniel Weisel and Joseph Choi.

Pfizer will likely charge $110 per dose for COVID vax

Pfizer expects the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to nearly quadruple from $110 to $130 per dose when the U.S. government’s purchasing program ends early next year, said company officials.

Angela Lukin, president of its U.S. operations, said on a conference call with investors Thursday that the company is still in talks with insurers but is confident the price will ensure fair access and reimbursement. .

Lukin said Pfizer is working to produce single-dose shots rather than the multi-dose vials that are in use today, and the increased cost reflects that.

In the latest contract, the federal government will pay about $30 per dose and distribute the vaccine to the public free of charge.

  • The $110-$130 price tag is the list price without any negotiated discounts. That means people with Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance will pay almost nothing.
  • Pfizer’s contract with the U.S. government runs until the end of the year. Federal health officials say he plans to move COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments into the commercial market within the next year.
  • The government has already stopped offering free COVID-19 tests.

Drug pricing advocates outraged, saying the move was an attempt to lower prices for consumers.

Please check this out for details.

White House to boost addiction medicine for pregnant women

President Biden will move to expand the use of medications to treat addiction in pregnant women through a new initiative as part of an administration strategy to improve maternal health.

This initiative will develop training and technical assistance on opioid addiction medications such as buprenorphine and methadone for women who are part of government programs through the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. It will also provide additional opioid education to female health care providers through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In addition, the initiative will expand access to opioid addiction medicines for pregnant and women of reproductive age within tribal nations, and for women living in tribal communities, especially urban areas.

“Drugs to treat opioid use disorders improve birth outcomes and make babies less likely to be born preterm. Drugs to treat opioid use disorders prevent maternal overdose and risk of death. and mitigate,” said a fact sheet released by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The initiative is based on reports carried out by governments to improve maternal health, with contributions from medical professionals, early childhood specialists and others. Opioid use among pregnant women is considered a serious public health concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Growing Problems: The number of women with an opioid-related diagnosis at birth increased 131% from 2010 to 2017, and 7% of women reported using opioids during pregnancy in 2019.

Please check this out for details.

CDC considers oral polio vaccine to combat outbreak in New York

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is discussing the use of the oral polio vaccine for the first time in decades in light of outbreak concerns in the New York City metropolitan area, CNBC reported Friday.

CDC national polio team leader Jannell Routh told CNBC that the CDC is discussing the possibility with colleagues in New York State and New York City.

“It will be a process.

The new oral polio vaccine (nOPV), which the CDC is considering changing, was discontinued in 2000. That’s because it contains a live, weakened strain of the virus that rarely mutates into a virulent form that can paralyze unvaccinated people, CNBC reports.

  • Officials first detected a case of polio in Rockland County, New York, in July. A 20-year-old man developed polio symptoms, including paralysis, and had not been vaccinated.
  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency last month after the health department found poliovirus in stool samples in five counties.

Please check this out for details.

CVS HEALTH PARTNERSHIP Aims to Abolish the ‘Tampon Tax’

CVS Health has announced that it supports the elimination of the so-called “tampon tax” and will work to eliminate the sales tax on menstrual products as part of a new partnership with Period Law and PERIOD.

Tampon tax or period tax refers to the sales tax levied on period care products. It is deprecated because menstruating people need to buy the product and end up paying more for the items they need.

Earlier this month, CVS Health announced a 25% reduction in the cost of its products during the regular retail period, but the reduction applies only to CVS-branded tampons, sanitary napkins, liners and cups.

Only 22 states continue to tax sanitary products, and the new partnership targets efforts in those regions.

  • “While all 22 states enjoy budget surpluses, most of these states generate less than 1/100th of their total revenue in taxes related to menstrual products,” said three organizations. written in the press release.
  • “Tax exemptions on menstrual products deemed necessary for health by the American Pharmaceutical Association represent a negligible contribution to overall revenues.”

Please check this out for details.

NIH Investigating Boston University COVID Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is reviewing the COVID-19 study conducted at Boston University to determine whether the experiment should have followed institutional guidelines.

Earlier this month, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine announced the results of a preprint study that combined genetic data from the ancestral COVID-19 virus and the circulating Omicron strain.

This “chimeric” pathogen was found to evade vaccine-induced immunity. Man-made virus found to induce severe disease with 80% fatality rate in laboratory mice, while naturally occurring Omicron strain causes ‘mild, non-fatal infection’ It was done.

  • “The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has issued a statement regarding the experiment described in a pre-print article on the SARS-CoV-2 study at the Boston University National Institute of Emerging Infectious Diseases. It did not review or award any laboratories (NEIDL),” the NIH said in a statement provided to The Hill.
  • “The NIH is investigating the matter to determine whether the research conducted is covered by the NIH Grant Policy Statement or meets the criteria for review under the HHS. [Health and Human Services] A framework for guiding funding decisions on proposed research involving enhanced potential pandemic agents (HHS P3CO Framework),” the statement continued.

A spokesperson for Boston University told The Hill that the university “will cooperate and assist the NIH as it investigates the matter.”

Please check this out for details.

what we are reading

  • ‘There is no quick fix’: Warrenski’s change efforts at CDC face reality (Politico)
  • They now understand it’s really in our hands’: Young women work to get votes in wake of Dobbs (19th News)
  • FDA vaccine chief sees potential for more Covid boosters — sooner than he wants (Stat)

by state

  • Federal prosecutors announce task force to target COVID-19 fraud in Idaho (Idaho Capital Sun)
  • Vermont town water official resigns amid fluoridation chaos (The New York Times)
  • Texas revamps ‘active shooter’ training in K-12 schools to minimize trauma (Kaiser Health News)

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That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and read our newsletter here. See you Monday.

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