Blog | Tuesday, December 8, 2009

QD: News Every Day--options for the public option

ACP Internist's daily digest of news and events continues with options for the public option, as well as how drugmakers plan to curb opioid abuse. (They're asking doctors.)

Health care reform
Factions within the Senate are discussing a privately-offered public plan. It's not another government oxymoron, either. Also, those over 55 could buy subsidized coverage from Medicare if they couldn't find insurance elsewhere. Meanwhile, one physician imagines another "semi-public" option that would make medical care more like other consumer transactions. (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Physicians News Digest blog)

Prescription drug abuse
Drugmakers suggest patient medication guides, letters to doctors and additional physician training to combat inappropriate drug prescription and abuse. The idea stems from a meeting with FDA officials, who've targeted 16 companies that produce 24 opioid drugs. It's a tough balance between curbing abuse and misuse and having physicians opt out from overly onerous requirements. (San Diego Union-Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Reuters)

H1N1 influenza
With reports rolling in around the globe, the H1N1 pandemic may go down as the mildest on record. But even so, it's killed an unusually high number of younger adults and children, experts cautioned. (MSNBC)