Category Archives: Patient safety

How a news investigation shed light on potential patient privacy violations

Simon Fondrie-Teitler                                           Todd Feathers

There have been continuing repercussions from an investigative story published in June by nonprofit news organization The Markup, in partnership with STAT, describing how Facebook receives sensitive medical information from hospital websites. In a new “How I Did It,” Simon Fondrie-Teitler and Todd Feathers, two of the team members that worked on the investigation, spoke with AHCJ about how the story came about and what journalists can learn from the process. 

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Evaluating concerns about accelerated FDA drug approvals

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (Photo courtesy of The House Committee on Energy and Commerce website)

Congress has a chance in September to try to speed the pace of studies needed to confirm whether drugs sold in the U.S. under accelerated approvals are helping people live better or longer. Journalists covering this issue may want to take a look at two recent papers on this subject.

In the first section of this two-part blog, we yesterday explained the politics of this issue. U.S. lawmakers are under pressure to reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) by the end of this month. Work on the Senate version of the bill stalled during the summer. The House in June passed its version of the bill, 392-28, with strong bipartisan support. 

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Will the FDA get more tools for handling accelerated drug approvals?

Official House Calendar posted by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with red circle added by AHCJ.

September is a great time for journalists to examine how well U.S. regulators are handling the accelerated approval pathway for medicines. There’s been growing concern about the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to compel drugmakers to hold up their end of the bargain on agreements made to speed seemingly promising medicines to market based on little pools of data.

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Rise in naloxone costs for uninsured, a significant access barrier to life-saving drug

Photo courtesy of the FDA website.

The cost of naloxone has risen sharply for people lacking insurance, even as laws have made it easier to prescribe and obtain the treatment for opioid overdoses, a new report found.

A study of claims data showed the mean out-of-pocket cost of naloxone for the uninsured rising to $249.97 in 2018 from $35.39 in 2014, according to a study published in JAMA Health Forum in August.

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CMS announces plans to create a ‘Birthing-Friendly’ hospital designation

Photo by Lars Plougmann via Flickr.

The Biden administration plans to leverage the federal government’s clout as a major purchaser of health services to try to improve the quality of maternal care, with plans to create a new “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation.

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