Crowd-Sourced Drug Delivery Now Has Video Conferencing

Crowd-sourcing technology has made its way to the delivery of healthcare items with CourMed, a McKinney-based company that crowd-sources drivers to securely deliver prescriptions, high-end vitamins, supplements, and eyewear. Founded in 2015, CourMed’s technology now allows pharmacists, optometrists, high-end vitamin or supplement store owners to connect with patients via HIPA-compliant real-time video consultations, called CourMed CONNECT. For a homebound customer, these consultations can be especially valuable to make sure medication and supplements are taken correctly. “We are in the encouraging people business,” said co-founder Derrick L. Miles via release. “CourMed is more than an enterprise software and a crowdsourced network of… Full Story

Physician Convicted of Distributing Millions of Narcotics in “Pill Mill”

A Dallas area physician faces 20 years in federal prison for overseeing the illegal prescription of nearly a million units of narcotics. Dr. Carlos Luis Venegas was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance at his alleged “pill mill” in federal court on Friday. “These pill mills help to perpetuate the tragic opioid crisis gripping our country,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox via release. “Last year, America lost, on average, 116 people per day to opioid overdoses. We cannot allow unscrupulous conduct by physicians to add to the supply of dangerous drugs on the streets.” Trial evidence shower that Venegas supervised… Full Story

Steward, HCA, and Mayo Team Up to Bring Cheaper Generic Drugs to Patients

With the hope of driving down the cost of life-saving medicines, Dallas-based Steward Health Care helped found Civica Rx, a nonprofit drug company that focuses on generic medicines. Steward joins Mayo Clinic, HCA Healthcare and a total of 800 hospitals nationwide to form a network that will help identify quantities needed for in-demand drugs and develop medications at affordable prices. As an initial effort, Civica wants to help hospitals and healthcare systems obtain 14- generic drugs in 2019. A release says that Civica “acts in the best interest of patients who are at risk during drug shortages that are created… Full Story

FDA Approval for Drug that Targets Mutation in Multiple Cancers

The FDA approved a treatment that targets a specific fused gene that is common in several types cancer cells, shifting the treatment from focusing on a certain type of cancer or organ to fighting a common mutation in a wide range of tumors. Dr. Theodore Laetsch of UT Southwestern and Children’s Health is leading the work with this new form of precision medicine. The drug, called Larotrectinib, was found to be effective in 93 percent of patients tested at UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center. The mutation occurs when a TRK gene attaches to another gene, where the gene turns on and… Full Story

The Election is (Mostly) Decided – How It Impacts Healthcare in North Texas

It’s been a week since the election, and many may be wondering how the results will change the healthcare industry, if at all. Clearly top of mind for many, a Deloitte study said that 26 percent of voters said healthcare was their top issue and three out of four voters who responded that way voted for Democrats. We touched base with John McCracken, clinical professor of healthcare management at The University of Texas at Dallas Jindal School of Management and adjunct professor of family and community medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Thaddeus Miller, associate professor in the University of… Full Story

Dealing with Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace

As opioid use continues to plague the country, employers are looking for ways to reduce addiction, missed work, and safety issues caused by addiction to highly addictive painkillers. Bonnie Merz is a Dallas-based Senior Claims Consultant at Holmes Murphy, and she advises employers about how to best manage risk in response to drug abuse. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to this problem, as a Hazeldon Betty Ford study shows that Health Care Providers are more likely than the general public to abuse opioids. Starting in the 1840s when surgeons would abuse their own anesthesia for “ether frolics,” today 10 to 15 percent… Full Story

A Local Trial Could Lead to an Oral Diabetes Medication

A new medicine from Oramed might rid diabetes treatment of needles for the 30 million Americans who have the disease. The treatment may be a way to avoid the pain and fear that accompany injections while more efficiently delivering the medication. Nadav Kidron, the CEO of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, is leading a team who is working on this new delivery method. FDA trials in Dallas and around the country may lead to the end of using needles in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Oral delivery of the medication is not only less painful, but more efficient, Kidron says. It is… Full Story

Texas Health Aetna Hopes to Reduce Drug Costs Through Data and Education

Texas Health Aetna’s new campaign hopes to educate physicians on inexpensive versions of drugs to reduce healthcare costs across the board. Called Go-to Green, the health insurance provider is using data to find cheaper prescription options. Texas Health Aetna’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delanor Doyle says that the company utilizes data from Texas Health Resources and Aetna to find out what drugs are being prescribed by which physicians and to whom in their netowrk. If they are aware of a medicine that is equally effective and cheaper, they will contact the physicians and let them know about the more inexpensive… Full Story

Former Employees Detail An Alleged Pharma Scheme At Dallas-based Medoc Health Services

If you’re an avid consumer of this website or of Dallas healthcare news, then you might remember the brief I wrote several months back about an FBI raid at Medoc Health Services, citing the Dallas Morning News. Since then, I spoke to former employees at the Dallas-based firm who detail what they say is a massive scheme in which Medoc acted as prescription manager on behalf of physicians grouped into the aforementioned businesses, to the detriment of their patients. As I wrote in my September column in D CEO, sources allege that the physicians involved gave Medoc a lot of… Full Story

Pharma Company AstraZeneca To Pay Texas $110 Million Over Alleged Fraudulent Marketing

AstraZeneca agreed this week to pay the state of Texas $110 million to settle a pair of lawsuits in which the state accused the pharma giant of fraudulent marketing. The suits separately deal with the drugs Seroquel, which is an antipsychotic medication, and Crestor, to lower cholesterol. Texas claimed AstraZeneca marketed Seroquel to Texas Medicaid providers who treated children and adolescents—even though the drugs weren’t approved for use among that population—and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments to a couple former state hospital doctors to influence the drug’s use. The state claimed AstraZeneca similarly pushed beyond the… Full Story