Your Weekly Dose of Health August 12, 2016

** As you may be aware, step therapy, or “fail first” legislation, A.2834D (Titone) / S.3419C (Young), passed the NYS Senate and Assembly in the final week of the Legislative Session. Please take the time to call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and urge him to sign this legislation into law, as it’s in the best interest of New York patients and providers! Click here for more information on step therapy


National News:

  • The DEA on Thursday denied a petition to move marijuana from a schedule one drug to a schedule two drug, which has upset those hoping to further its potential medical uses. Reclassifying marijuana would have made it easier for scientists to gain approval for medical studies.
  • The Obama administration is moving $81 million from other health related projects to fund work on creating a Zika Vaccine. Congress had failed to approve any funding for fighting the Zika virus.
  • Senator Chuck Schumer introduced new legislation to make illegal nearly two dozen chemicals used in the production of synthetic marijuana.

State News:

  • The Cuomo administration late last week approved the largest health insurance rate increase since the Affordable Care Act first took effect. The new rates begin in January.
  • New York State is moving forward with creating a database to help track health care costs and quality.

City News:

  • New York City’s Department of Health released a report this week on heroin and fentanyl overdoses in the city.
  • The health department this week expanded guidelines regarding who should be tested for the Zika virus.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio this week signed a bill requiring the city to provide lactation rooms for nursing mothers in city offices.

Upcoming Events:

  • The United Hospital Fund is holding its 2016 Gala on September 26th at the Waldorf-Astoria. See more here.
  • The New York Academy of Sciences is hosting a conference on September 16th regarding the ethics and value of big data for obesity research.
  • Philanthropy New York is hosting an event on September 27th about the challenges of the current health care work force.
  • Click here for upcoming meetings, hearings and events from the state Department of Health.