Florida behind in cancer prevention, treatment
Florida is not doing enough to prevent cancer or care for those who get it, according to a new report from the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society. The Cancer Action Network’s annual report says the state was not proficient in any of the group’s eight benchmarks, placing Florida among the worst in the nation at implementing policies and laws to prevent and treat cancer. More from WJCT and Florida Politics.
For the first time in history, the US government is looking to allow states to import lower-cost prescription drugs. The federal law allowing drug imports has been around since 2003, but Florida could be one of the first to see the benefits. Importing cheaper prescription drugs to Florida was one of the most hotly contested fights of the 2019 legislative session. [Source: WFLA]
South Florida researchers believe they're one step closer to developing a more effective vaccine against HIV, after overcoming a virus that infects monkeys. Nicknamed the "Death Star," SIVmac239 is a particularly resilient immunodeficiency virus that features the same obstacles that have vexed HIV vaccine researchers over the years: the outer layers around the viruses mutate quickly. It's like the immune system is trying to track a shapeshifter—a defense against how the viruses work, and then it doesn't. [Source: WLRN]
Look for the Florida Legislature to once again grapple with the issue of nurse practitioners. Susan Lynch, the CEO of the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, said with the physician shortage in Florida, nurse practitioners can help fill the gap for Floridians. This year, legislation sponsored by state Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, would have allowed nurse practitioners to use the full extent of their training. The bill overwhelmingly passed the Florida House but was held up by the state Senate thanks largely to the fierce opposition of physician groups. [Source: Florida Daily]
After more than 2,000 cases of reported hepatitis A cases in Florida this year, state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency Thursday. "I am declaring this Public Health Emergency as a proactive step to appropriately alert the public to this serious illness and prevent further spread of hepatitis A in our state," Rivkees said in a prepared statement issued to the media. [Source: WUSF]
› Medical technology company maxes out second capital round [Business Observer]
Omeza LLC maxed out its current funding round limit at $7 million in July, having already raised $5.75 million as of its April 1 target. The additional funds closed just prior to the company’s second board meeting at the company’s headquarters in Sarasota, according to a press release.
› Bad physician: Doctor discipline disrupted in Florida [Florida Politics]
Gov. Ron DeSantis made several appointments this week, but he still hasn’t made appointments to the state medical licensing board, and it’s continuing to cause disruptions. “It’s true that we have to withdraw cases because we don’t have enough physician members on the board,” Board of Medicine Chairman Steven Rosenberg said. This is the second consecutive meeting where the board has had to defer action on disciplinary cases. The board had to withdraw nine disciplinary cases from its June agenda.
› A Publix pharmacist estimates she stole over 2,800 meds, the Department of Health says [Miami Herald]
A pharmacist at an Altamonte Springs Publix gave up her license Friday after, the Florida Department of Health says, she got caught stealing drugs from the pharmacy. And the emergency suspension order (ESO) said that while Publix caught Kara Blankenship in June, she admitted she’s been stealing pills from Publix pharmacies for eight years.
› Medical board chairman warns of plastic surgery risk [WJXT]
Plastic surgery is becoming a public health risk, the chairman of the state’s medical licensing board said during a meeting in South Florida Friday. Florida Board of Medicine Chairman Steven Rosenberg said state health officials need to educate the public about the risks of plastic surgery and how the dangers can increase when procedures are performed by physicians who aren’t qualified.
Florida’s Health Plans: Connecting Florida’s Health Care Community | Join us for the 2019 Florida Association of Health Plans Annual Conference, Sept. 4-6, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando. Register at FAHP.net today!