Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!
Study: By Midsummer, Few Americans Had Antibodies to COVID-19
A study by the Lancet has found that by late July, fewer than one in ten Americans showed signs of a a prior coronavirus infection. Scientists searched for coronavirus antibodies in randomly selected dialysis patients from across the United States. They concluded that more than 90% of the country does not have the antibodies which would suggest a fight against the coronavirus which causes COVID-19.
Experts say that to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus, antibodies would have to show up in 50 to 65% of the population. However, there are still significant signs that antibodies do not linger more than a few months, limiting hopes of future immunity.
The study also indicated that Black and Hispanic communities are disproportionately affected by coronavirus spread. Study co-author Maria Montez-Rath, of Stanford University, told CNBC that the study found people from Hispanic-majority communities were more than twice as likely to have coronavirus antibodies than in White-majority communities, and people from Black-majority communities were nearly four times as likely.
Executive Order Announces Care for Patients with Preexisting Conditions is a National Policy
The order, signed by President Trump last week, declares it’s a matter of national policy to protect patients with preexisting conditions. The statement doesn’t indicate how the government will force insures to comply, according to FierceHealthcare.
The executive order comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments that could declare the ACA unconstitutional, a position which the Trump Administration supports. The ACA currently ensures that patients with preexisting health conditions are able to obtain medical insurance. The goal of the order, according to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, is to make protecting patients a “clear national policy” even if the law protecting them is struck down.
FDA Finalizes Rule Allowing Drug Imports from Canada
Guidance allowing the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada has now been finalized. The FDA and Department of Health and Human Services have published guidance allowing states, Indian tribes and potentially pharmacists and wholesalers to submit proposals to the FDA for review. States will be able to request authorization to import certain prescription drugs from Canada.
Manufacturers will also be able to apply to reimport products labeled for sale in another country.
Drugs imported under this new guidance would be subject to testing and relabeled with U.S. labeling. Some states, including Florida, are already preparing proposals to begin importing drugs from Canada.