Sep 7, 2018

Senate to vote on opioids bill next week

Sen. Lamar Alexander. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Senate will vote next week on its version of an omnibus bill to address the opioid crisis, Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the health committee, announced last night.

What's next: The House passed its own opioids package in June. There are a lot of easy consensus items in both bills, but the two chambers will still have to reconcile differing details and potentially thorny issues like funding levels and Medicaid coverage.

Per Alexander's news release, the Senate bill would...

  • Clarify the FDA's authority to allow special packaging for prescription opioids.
  • Expand access to medication-assisted treatment.
  • Promote the development of less addictive pain treatments.

More controversial items — like repealing limits on Medicaid payment for certain treatment facilities — didn't make the cut.

Go deeper: Here's a section-by-section summary of the Senate bill.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.