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

Irving-based Company Predicts Smaller (But Still Sizable) Increase In Drug Prices Next Year

Vizient released its drug price forecast for 2019, and the data-driven company says it expects prices to increase 4.92 percent during 2019. But the prediction comes with a caveat for health systems to latch onto: The percent of price inflation is down nearly three percentage points—from 7.61 percent last year—which Vizient says could signal the beginning of a change in the trend. For now, the specialty pharmacy industry continues to drive up the prices, Vizient says: Although the rate of price increases is projected to slow, the specialty pharmacy market is expected to continue its rapid pace of growth, which… Full Story

Davita Rx To Close Coppell Facility, Lay Off 869 Employees After Sale To Walgreens

Davita Rx has submitted a notice to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that it plans to close a facility in Coppell and lay off hundreds of people that work at or report to it. Walgreens reached a deal to acquire Davita Rx, which is the pharmacy wing of dialysis provider Davita Inc., on July 25. The pharmacy giant is buying Davita’s non-dialysis prescription files billed as a pharmacy benefit, predominately under Medicare Part D, the company said. The deal is expected to close in September. A facility at 1234 Lakeshore Drive, Ste. 200 in Coppell will close, resulting in 869… Full Story

Dallas Physician Aims to Decrease the Spread of HIV Infection With Saturday PrEP Clinic

A physician whose involvement in fighting HIV infection stretches back to the late-‘80s and early-90s AIDS crisis is opening a Saturday PrEP clinic, hoping to continue to curtail the spread of HIV. Dr. Steven Pounders is opening the clinic on Sept. 8. It will provide lab testing and follow ups for patients interested in getting on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a new prevention approach with the drug Truvada that Pounders says reduces the risk of obtaining HIV infection by as much as 90 percent. “We’ve been looking for ways to try to encourage more and more people to take it,” Pounders… Full Story

At A UNTHSC Clinic, Integrating A Pharmacist Into the Healthcare Team Is Making All the Difference

UNT Health Science Center has a piece out that’s worth pointing you toward. At the Hepatitis C Clinic at the UNTHSC Health Pavilion, planting a pharmacist within the healthcare team has made oceans of difference when it comes to adherence to prescription programs. Hepatitis C meds, UNTHSC explains, cost nearly $100,000 and cure the infection within 12 weeks. Yet some patients still let the drugs go unused. From the center’s newsroom: “But non-adherence can prevent or delay a cure,” said Dr. Fix, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy at UNT Health Science Center. “Programs like ours improve adherence by close to 100… Full Story