Good morning … When rotten apples freeze, then slide out of their icy molds, you get "ghost apples."
Kaiser Permanente's new School of Medicine will cover all tuition and health insurance costs for each student in its first 5 graduating classes, my colleague Bob Herman reports.
The big picture: This follows the lead set by NYU's medical school. The goal of free med school is to encourage more low-income students to enter medicine, where the average debt for each graduate who borrows is $192,000.
By the numbers: One year of tuition at Kaiser's medical school, which will have active students by next summer, costs about $55,000. Kaiser's health coverage costs about $6,500 per year.
Yes, but: After NYU announced its free tuition last year for all current and future medical students, economists and policymakers warned the move would merely subsidize education costs for an already affluent group.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has formally demanded that OptumRx, one of the country's largest pharmacy benefit managers, pay back $16 million in "overcharges" related to handling drug benefits for a state agency.
Why it matters: This isn't a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it's a forceful step that shows states are actively looking to claw back money from a PBM if they think the company is skimming too much profit from the drug pricing process.
We know childbirth is wildly expensive in the U.S. The Philadelphia Inquirer has a very depressing related story: The cost of a failed pregnancy can also be unexpectedly large, leaving women or couples to sort through and challenge medical bills on top of an enormous emotional loss.
Details: One woman profiled by the Inquirer, Jodi Laughlin, had to have an emergency C-section. Her baby then lived only 32 minutes, due to a buildup of fluid in her body.
From Axios' Caitlin Owens: Federal regulators and fentanyl manufacturers didn't take action when it became clear that highly potent fentanyl products were being inappropriately prescribed to as many as half of the patients taking them, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
How it works: The type of fentanyl in question is approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for adult cancer patents who have already built up a tolerance to less potent opioids.
The bottom line: In 2016, drugmakers found that between 34.6% and 55.4% of patients receiving this kind of fentanyl did not have opioid tolerance, meaning the drug was being misused.
From Caitlin: Proceedings in Oklahoma’s case against several major drug companies are scheduled to begin May 28, and could preview how the giant federal case that's pending in Ohio is going to go, The Washington Post reports.
Why it matters: If this case does go to trial, it could provide leverage in the cases to follow, including through evidence released to the public.
In case common sense didn't tell you that infusing yourself with young people's blood will not make you younger or healthier, allow the FDA to provide that warning.
What's new: "We have a lot of public health concerns. This is not an appropriate use of plasma," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC in an interview yesterday.
Ambrosia, one of the startups offering young people's blood in transfusions, recently said it was up and running in 5 U.S. cities, charging $8,000 for a liter of young blood.