Pharma News for January 4, 2021


While many people, from news outlets to government agencies, have focused on the most severe cases of Covid-19, which often lead to death, there is a growing population of post Covid-19 survivors that are having significant lasting effects from the virus. As long as six months later there have patients who have reported negative symptoms; this includes chronic fatigue and cognitive issues. (CNBC)

The warnings by some medical experts that medical care could potentially be rationed to patients has become reality in Los Angeles. Paramedics, many times the first point of contact for people who could have Covid-19, have been told to not transport people to the hospital who have a low chance of survival due to the overcrowding in the hospitals. Paramedics have also been instructed to ration the amount of oxygen given to patients. Though many people don’t think about it, oxygen has to manufactured and given the number of people swamping hospitals, the supply is running low and the companies that manufacture oxygen are strained. (NPR)

As January 1st hospitals are required to post online the cost of several prices for every item and service they provide: gross charges, the actual, and most likely far lower, prices they’ve negotiated with insurers, including de-identified minimum and maximum negotiated charges; and the cash price they offer patients who are uninsured or not using their insurance. Hospitals are also required to post the price of 300 common procedures which will include all of the associated costs, which will include the cost of drugs, the procedure, any hospital stay, etc. (NPR)

There have been multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, found around the world. Two mutations, found in the UK and South Africa, are causing concern amongst health officials. Though they don’t appear to be more deadly than Covid-19, they are more contagious which is what is worrying to hospitals, many of which are already stretched to the limit by the current number Covid-19 patients. Currently the UK mutation has been found in multiple states in the U.S. but the South African variant hasn’t been found here. (Biospace)