June 25, 2022
Prescription drug imports remain bottled up

Florida Trend Health Care

Prescription drug imports remain bottled up

| 4/11/2022

Prescription drug imports remain bottled up

Nearly three years after Florida lawmakers approved a plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed frustration that the plan remains stalled in Washington, D.C. DeSantis and then-state House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, made the issue a priority in 2019, with lawmakers ultimately approving a plan to make imported drugs available in government-related programs. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida health officials, CDC warn of meningitis outbreak

State health officials issued alerts Friday regarding outbreaks of meningococcal disease, a rare but serious form of meningitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The most common meningococcal infections are meningitis and septicemia, a bloodstream infection. Both often begin with flu-like symptoms that turn serious quickly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posted a Florida alert on its website. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

New partnership is providing free mental health care to veterans

Veterans are taking their own lives at an alarming rate and experts say the problem is not slowing down. A new partnership will provide a place to treat veterans and families dealing with mental illness for free. Veterans Affairs says each year, more than 6,000 veterans take their own lives. Five hundred of them are in Florida. Now, Home Base Florida and the David Lawrence Center are joining forces to help veterans across Southwest Florida at no cost to them. [Source: WINK News]

Walgreens, Florida square off in opioids trial

After inking $2.4 billion in settlements with prescription drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers, the state is set for a courtroom showdown with Walgreens over the pharmacy giant’s role in the opioid epidemic. A long-awaited trial in the case kicked off Monday morning in Pasco County, which is among the areas of Florida that suffered most in the epidemic that former Gov. Rick Scott declared in 2017 as a public health emergency. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida’s largest Medicaid payment vendor must pay nearly $9.1 million after missing challenge deadline

The deadline set by Florida lapsed for its largest Medicaid payment vendor to challenge a nearly $9.1 million fine over the company’s failure for nearly three months to pay tens of thousands of healthcare claims for the state's sickest and neediest children. Sunshine State Health Plan Inc. of Tampa had until 5 p.m. Thursday to dispute the fine imposed last month by the Agency for Health Care Administration, leaving the company with only the option to concede to pay. More from WTSP and Health News Florida.


› South Florida is seeing an uptick in rates of HIV diagnoses among ages 50 and older
Testing for HIV dropped a lot during the COVID pandemic, so state data on new infections are likely an undercount. Still, health officials in South Florida are monitoring a worrisome upward trend in HIV diagnoses among people 50 and older. In a 2020 report from the Florida Department of Health, the state wrote that the number of new HIV diagnoses over the past five years decreased except among two age groups: 30 to 39 (8% increase) and 50 and older (7% increase).

› AdventHealth study will offer free genetic testing to 6,000 women getting mammograms
Widespread adoption of genetic testing has made previously fantastical discoveries a more common occurrence. Genetic testing has been used to find a murderer from a decades-old Orange County cold case, identify the biological parents of an adopted Florida woman with a falsified birth certificate, and figure out which dogs kept pooping in an Orlando high-rise.

› Florida COVID-19 hospitalizations at pandemic low as cases continue rising due to BA.2
Florida hospitals reported a record low number of COVID-positive adult patients in intensive care units this week as another coronavirus wave forms, in line with experts' expectations. ICU staff tended to an average of 96 patients each day this week, data collected Friday by the U.S. Health and Human Services shows. That's the lowest seven-day average the federal agency has logged since record keeping began in July 2020.

› USF students to use creative performances to talk openly about mental health
National data shows nearly a third of people between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced a mental health condition during 2020. A national program called This is My Brave that is coming to the University of South Florida in Tampa this month aims to improve these statistics. Students who take part in the program use creative performances to talk about mental health and addiction openly and break down the stigma surrounding the topics.

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