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Marijuana to remain illegal under federal law, DEA says

Pot still illegalMarijuana advocates who hoped the cascade of states moving to legalize medical marijuana would soften the federal stance on the drug faced disappointment Thursday as the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose.

Marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Substances in Schedule 1 are determined by the Food and Drug Administration to have no medical use. States that allow marijuana for medical use or legalize recreational use remain in defiance of federal law.

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Anti-choice advocates seek fresh ammunition to justify restrictions

Anti choice groupSeeking to arm themselves with new ammunition after losing a major Supreme Court battle, the anti-abortion movement is calling for a national database for abortion statistics and increased state reporting — moves likely to raise patient privacy concerns.

The high court’s June decision in favor of Texas abortion providers in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is expected to have a chilling effect on state abortion restrictions, which had closed clinics in Texas and other parts of the country.

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Insurance companies won't cover the alternatives to opioids

alternatives to opiods not covered by inusrance companiesOver the past decade, the US has undergone an opioid epidemic.

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine have skyrocketed — and, with them, the number of overdoses related to opioids.

The trend has been decades in the making.

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Zika Vaccine Works in Monkeys, Set for Human Trials

Zika mosquitoOn the eve of the Olympics' opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, there's good news on combating the Zika virus: a promising vaccine effective in monkeys and now being fast-tracked for human clinical trials.

A purified, inactivated Zika virus vaccine earlier found to work in mice is effective against Brazilian and Puerto Rican strains of the virus in monkeys, too, researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Harvard Medical School reported in a study out on Thursday in the journal Science.

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Medicare safeguard overwhelmed by pricey drugs

Medicare drug costsA safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show.

The cost of Medicare's "catastrophic" prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program's number-crunching Office of the Actuary.

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Johnson & Johnson subsidiary pays $18 million to U.S. in settlement

Johnson & Johnson pays $18mJohnson & Johnson's subsidiary Acclarent, paid $18 million to resolve allegations the company marketed a medical device without FDA approval, which led health care providers to submit false claims to Medicare and other federal healthcare programs.

According to a statement from the Justice Department, Melayna Lokosky, a saleswoman for Acclarent, filed a whistleblower suit against the company and two if its senior executives.

Court documents show managers at Acclarent directed the sales staff to market the company's Stratus device as a drug delivery device. The Food and Drug Administration had only cleared the device to maintain an opening to the sinus immediately after surgery.

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Seven US cities losing their doctors

Cities losing doctorsAs the U.S. population continues to grow — and age — demand for health care services is expected to increase. Along with demographic changes, the number of Americans with health insurance has also increased considerably in recent years — another factor in the growing demand for health care services. As a result, the number of physicians needed in the United States will likely continue to rise.

However, while the number of doctors per capita has been indeed increasing nationwide, in a number of areas across the country, this pattern does not hold. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metro areas shedding primary care physicians the fastest.

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