Health and Human Services Secretary Shares Healthy Tips for Super Bowl Sunday and Other Health Updates
Xavier Becerra Emphasizes the Importance of COVID Testing and Healthy Eating
Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, recently shared valuable health tips for Super Bowl Sunday. He emphasized the importance of having COVID tests on hand for gatherings and provided a link for ordering more. This highlights the importance of being proactive in preventing the spread of the virus, especially in light of the more contagious variants.
In addition to this, Secretary Becerra underscored the significance of making healthy food choices. He suggested reaching for healthier alternatives, like carrot sticks, and reiterated the idea that food is medicine. This concept underlines the impact that our diet can have on our overall health and well-being, making healthy food choices an integral part of disease prevention and health maintenance.
Administration Presses Pharmacies on COVID-19 Treatment Costs
In other health news, the Biden administration is pressing pharmacies to ensure that patients with COVID-19 are not being charged thousands of dollars for Paxlovid, a COVID-19 treatment. Secretary Becerra had a virtual meeting with CEOs from major pharmacies to discuss the importance of pharmacist education and clear, accurate communication to patients about the costs of COVID-19 treatment.
The administration has been closely monitoring the commercialization process of Paxlovid, amid reports of patients being charged high co-pays or the full price for the treatment. In an effort to make the drug affordable, the administration has negotiated with Pfizer. As a result, individuals on Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured individuals can access Paxlovid for free through various assistance programs. Pharmacies are now taking extra steps to ensure affordable patient access to this vital treatment.
HHS Announces Grant Funding for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services
The US Department of Health and Human Services has also announced a $28 million grant funding for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services. This funding is specifically targeted at pregnant and postpartum individuals and individuals involved in adult and family treatment drug courts.
The grant programs aim to expand SUD treatment services and recovery support services within existing drug courts. In addition, there is an emphasis on enhancing flexibility in fund utilization to support family-based services for pregnant and postpartum individuals with a primary diagnosis of SUD, particularly opioid use disorders.
California and Oregon Break from CDC Guidelines for Asymptomatic COVID Cases
Lastly, California and Oregon have deviated from the CDC guidelines concerning the isolation of asymptomatic COVID cases. This has sparked a debate about balancing pandemic precautions with societal needs. Critics are concerned this move might encourage partisan attacks on COVID precautions. However, Oregon’s infection rates have remained consistent with the rest of the country since easing isolation guidelines.
Despite this, both states continue to encourage precautions for those who are sick with COVID. They are attempting to balance pandemic restrictions with the need to keep schools and workplaces functioning, highlighting the ongoing struggle to navigate the complexities of managing the pandemic.