The State of Louisiana, one of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is receiving a much-needed shipment of 8,000 tablets of the antibiotic azithromycin from Teva pharmaceuticals, an Israeli drug company, the State’s Attorney General Jeff Landry first told the Sara Carter Show Monday. Additionally, Teva will send 75,000 tablets of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, Attorney General Landry shared during Monday’s press conference with Governor John Bel Edwards.
“We actually will be meeting with the Governor. We’re gonna announce where we have been able to procure 8,000 dosages, Z-Paks, from Teva Pharmaceuticals. And we’re gonna get those in Louisiana hopefully by tomorrow,” the Attorney General told Carter.
It’s a sign of hope for Louisiana, however, it’s not “a silver bullet,” he noted.
The drug, coupled with anti-malaria pill hydroxychloroquine, is a cocktail used to treat many patients diagnosed with the coronavirus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine last month after it showed signs of success in early clinical trials.
“Teva has donated more than 10 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets through wholesalers to hospitals across the U.S. and the company is extremely pleased that the people of Louisiana will benefit from this significant contribution. We continue to assess additional ways to address current national need while focusing on our commitment to continue to supply more than 10% of the nation’s medicines to patients who need them,” Teva spokesperson Kelly Dougherty said of the news.
Last week, the FDA authorized the Louisiana State University Medical School to conduct a clinical study after receiving 400,000 tablets of hydroxychloroquine from Amneal Pharmaceuticals. The pills have already been delivered to over 100 locations across the state, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s office.
“We have seen some promising results in some patients. For me, anytime that we can find a treatment that has some sort of positive result, every patient we keep off of a ventilator is another ventilator that we have for someone else,” Landry said.
He added, “So we’re hoping that this will bring some much needed relief into the state at this time.”
As of Monday, there are 14,867 confirmed cases of the virus and 512 reported deaths.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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