Thursday Miscellany

At last year’s OPM AHIP FEHBP Carrier Conference, a Centers for Disease Control scientist announced that the U.S. Surgeon General soon would be issuing a new comprehensive report on tobacco use in the U.S. That report was issued today. It

  • Examines the effectiveness of various smoking cessation tools and resources;
  • Reviews the health effects of smoking and catalogues the improvements to health that can occur when smokers quit;
  • Highlights important new data on populations in which the prevalence of smoking is high and quit rates are low; and
  • Identifies gaps in the availability and utilization of programs, policies, and resources that can improve cessation rates and help smokers quit.

Here’s a link to OPM’s Quit Smoking website which discusses the FEHBP generous tobacco cessation benefits.

The CDC updated the public on its important antibiotic resistance solutions initiative.

CDC’s AR Solutions Initiative invests in national infrastructure to detect, respond, contain, and prevent resistant infections across healthcare settings, food, and communities. CDC funding supports all 50 state health departments, six local health departments, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Through these investments, CDC is transforming how the nation and world combat and slow antibiotic resistance at all levels.

Good luck.

The FEHBlog has discussed the relatively new, cooperative effort of hospitals to create a public asset, known as Civica Rx, to help solve drug shortages and lower the cost of generic drugs. Today, Civica Rx and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced

their partnership to create a new subsidiary dedicated to lowering the cost of select generic drugs. The subsidiary is being formed in response to the impact of high drug costs on the health of Americans and the overall affordability of health care. Other health plans, employers, retail partners and health care innovators who share the belief that patients and their needs come first are invited to join the initiative.

The subsidiary will acquire and develop Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for select generic drugs and partner with Civica and manufacturing partners to bring more affordable generic drugs to uncompetitive markets in exchange for aggregated volume and multiyear purchasing commitments. Initially, several generic medications identified as having high potential for savings will be prioritized by the partnership and will evolve into a platform that can be used to enhance competition for additional generic drugs.

The new operation expected to start delivering product in early 2022. Strong move.

The American Hospital Association now offers a webpage with updates and resources concerning the Wuhan coronavirus.

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