Linda Wiant and deputy quietly leave Georgia Medicaid

We don’t know the details, but Director of Georgia Medicaid Linda Wiant has left that position, as has Deputy Medicaid Director Marcey Alter. Neither Wiant nor the Department of Community Health has released a statement, and no replacements have been named.

Wiant took the post in early 2015, and we enjoyed working with her (even before then, when she was the pharmacy director for Georgia Medicaid). We wish both Wiant and Alter the best of luck, and we’ll keep you updated if we learn more.

CBO report: Ending subsidies would hurt

Ending insurance subsidies would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket (20 percent in 2018) and increase the national deficit by $194 billion over the next decade.

Here’s the news story, and here’s the report itself.

Adding to the bandwagon

Cincinnati and South Carolina have joined the — gosh, we’ve lost count — the lots of other states and cities that are suing pharmaceutical companies over the cost of the opioid epidemic.

Mandating e-scripts for controls

New legislation introduced in Congress would require all prescriptions for controlled substances for Medicare Part D patients be handled electronically.

Post-truth society, Canadian pharma edition

Here’s a fun (sort of) story about how one pharmaceutical company made up a fake Canadian law, sued the government for violating that law, lost the suit, then spread “news” about patients supposedly (but not really) affected by the court’s ruling.

It created the fictional legal rule that, after several failed formulations, came to be known as the promise utility doctrine or just the promise doctrine. It was loosely based on the requirement in both U.S. and Canadian law that an invention be “useful” in order to gain a patent.

[…]

While artfully articulated, the promise doctrine never existed.

Chasing the red bull

Pot, schmot — energy drinks are apparently the gateway to drug use.

The researchers found that participants with a persistent trajectory of energy drink consumption were at a much higher risk of using [non-medical prescription stimulants] and stimulant drugs, and being diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder at age 25.