Your Weekly Dose of Health July 10, 2015

Thank you to the NYS Senate and Assembly for passing A.7208/ S. 4893! This legislation clarifies the prescriber prevails process in Medicaid Managed Care and eliminates some of the hurdles that patients and prescribers must go through to prevail in medication decisions. We now need your help encouraging Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation for final passage! Urge his support by calling 518-362-8946 or filling out the contact form.

Speaker of the House John Boehner penned this op-ed piece in Politico in support of bi-partisan initiative called “21st Century Cures.”  The legislation would include significant investments in medical research and the National Institute of Health, as well as allow for facilitate more collaboration between researches at different universities and centers.

Medicare announced on Wednesday its plans to reimburse doctors for discussions with patients over end of life care.

The Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement has led to a significant drop in birth control spending, according to the New York Times.

Governor Cuomo announced this week three major steps being taken as part of his initiative to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020.  These are: expanding HIV testing, ensuring that treatment be available for everyone with HIV, and expanding the availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that reduces peoples’ risk of contracting HIV.

On Tuesday, advocates called on the governor to sign into law a bill to expedite patient access to medical marijuana.  The governor hasn’t yet taken a position on the bill. Medical marijuana licenses are expected to be awarded soon.

A New York Times magazine article details the serious harm synthetic marijuana, known as “spike”, has caused communities.  These synthetic cannabinoids have been banned by every state, but they are still being sold over the internet, on the street, and sometimes under the counter or at the registers of local stores.