2021 health plans granted leeway to limit consumers’ benefit from drug coupons

2021 health plans granted leeway to limit consumers’ benefit from drug coupons

Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 6 2020

Without medication to manage her plaque psoriasis, Jennifer Brown's face, scalp, trunk and neck periodically become covered in painful red, flaky patches so dry they crack and bleed.

She has gotten relief from medications, but they come at a high price. For a while she was on Humira, made by AbbVie, with an average retail price of roughly $8,600 for two monthly injections. When that drug stopped working for her, Brown's doctor switched her to a different drug. Today she is using another injectable, Skyrizi, also by AbbVie, which costs about $36,000 for two quarterly injections — nearly 40% more annually than Humira.

The pharmaceutical company offers an assistance program to help consumers like Brown pay their share of the drug, and that has helped her cover her copayments. However, she faces the possibility of higher drug costs under a federal rule finalized this spring by the Trump administration.

The rule, an annual directive that sets health plan standards for 2021, permits employers and insurers not to apply drug company copayment assistance toward enrollees' deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for any drug. That means only payments made by the patients themselves would factor into the calculations to reach those spending targets and could make individuals responsible for thousands of dollars in drug costs.

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Why these players decided not to play this season - Chron

Why these players decided not to play this season

With the NBA and Major League Baseball planning on playing at the end of the month, some players have decided to sit out the season.

Deciding to return to work during the pandemic is a personal decision for anyone, but some of the players have shared their reasoning for opting out of their sport during this time.

The Lakers' Avery Bradley, for instance, has a 6-year-old child with a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses, meaning that child likely would not be allowed to join Bradley with his family in the Orlando bubble. Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman has four children, including a newborn, and a mother who has Multiple Sclerosis.

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Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Market 2020 – Key Stakeholders, Subcomponent Manufacturers, Industry Association 2025 - Jewish Life News

The study on the “Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Market” by Brand Essence Market Research is a compilation of systematic details in terms of market valuation, market size, revenue estimation, and geographical spectrum of the business vertical. The study also offers a precise analysis of the key challenges and growth prospects awaiting key players of the Multiple Sclerosis Treatment market, including a concise summary of their corporate strategies and competitive setting.

In 2018, the Global Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Market size was xx million US$ and it is expected to reach xx million US$ by the end of 2025, with a CAGR of xx% during 2019-2025.

Download Premium Sample of the Report: https://industrystatsreport.com/Request/Sample?ResearchPostId=12654&RequestType=Sample

The Detailed Market intelligence report on the Global Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Market applies the most effective of each primary and secondary analysis to weighs upon the competitive landscape and also the outstanding market players expected to dominate Global Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Market place for the forecast 2020– 2025.

Scope Of The Report:

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2025 Projections: Multiple Sclerosis Industry Market Report by Type, Application and Regional Outlook - AlgosOnline

MarketStudyReport.com Adds New Report about Global Multiple Sclerosis Industry Market to its database. This research covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years.

The research study on the Multiple Sclerosis Industry market is a detailed analysis of this industry vertical and includes substantial information – like the present status of the market over the projected timeline. The basic development trends that the Multiple Sclerosis Industry market is characterized by over the forecast timeframe is provided in the report, in tandem with the vital pointers such as geographical industry layout characteristics as well as the various industry policies.

Request a sample Report of Multiple Sclerosis Industry Market at: https://www.marketstudyreport.com/request-a-sample/2764238?utm_source=algosonline.com&utm_medium=TS

The Multiple Sclerosis Industry market research report is also inclusive of a plethora of pros and cons of the enterprise products. Pointers such as the influence of the present market scenario on investors have been provided. Also, the study elaborates on the enterprise competition trends in conjunction with a detailed scientific analysis on downstream buyers as well as the raw material.

Unveiling a gist of the Multiple Sclerosis Industry market competitive scope:

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Sandra Beaning - Obituary - Legacy.com

Sandra K. Beaning

Indianapolis - Sandra K. Beaning, 85, Indianapolis, passed away June 25, 2020. Sandy was born on December 21, 1934 to Benjamin and Helen Jordan, living in Indianapolis all her life, being survived by her sister Patricia Miller, Dunedin, Florida; niece Annette Lawrence, Dunedin, Florida; Amy Craft and family, Wesley Chapel Florida; plus nephew David Miller and his family in Dayton, Ohio.

She attended Shortridge High School, achieving and AB Degree from Hanover College, Madison, Indiana, with a Masters Degree from Butler University, Indianapolis. For her entire career, Sandy taught in the Indianapolis Public Schools, Grade Six, on East Washington Street for 37 years until retirement.

Sandy fell in love with Robert "Bob" Beaning and married him in June 1959. They took summer vacations to Grand Teton Mountains and some Western States.

Narrative continues below by long-time friend, Joseph V. Goeller:

I met Sandy as her husband, Bob, and I both worked for Allstate Insurance and were 10-Speed bike enthusiasts. After we would ride over rural roads and elsewhere in Central Indiana, Sandy would cook delicious breakfasts for the three of us Sunday mornings, eating on the Chateau de Ville patio. On one year, he and I even rode a 100-mile roundtrip along Interstate 70 to Knightstown and back.

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Severe COVID-19 Outcomes for MS Patients Linked to Several Factors - MD Magazine

This article, "Severe COVID-19 in Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Disability Status, Age, Obesity," was originally published in NeurologyLive.

The outcomes for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) infected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) might be more severe, according to new research.

In a recent attempt to understand the risk factors involved for patients with MS to possibly develop a severe form of the novel COVID-19 infection, results suggest that neurological disability, age, and obesity were all associated with severe infection.

No link was observed between exposure to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and COVID-19 severity.

Conducted by Céline Louapre, MD, PhD, of the Clinical Investigation Center, L'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, and colleagues, the cohort study included 347 patients with MS. Infection severity was assessed on a 7-point ordinal scale ranging from 1—denoting no hospitalization with no limitations on activities—to 7—denoting death.

There was a cutoff at 3 on the scale, which was defined as hospitalized and not requiring supplemental oxygen.

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COVID-19: Preventive Measures in Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Others on Immuno-Modulators

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention       -  Stay Healthy, Stay Home and Wash Your Hands

disease-modifying therapies used to treat several immune-mediated disorders in neurology may make patients more susceptible to the novel coronavirus... 

Robert Fox, MD
Updated April 7,2020: As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to roll on, with over 350,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and over 10,000 deaths in the US, risk of contraction has become especially relevant within the neuroimmunology community. 

As many patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and other neuroimmune disorders receive disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that act on the immune system, they may face an increased risk of being infected with the virus and developing more severe symptoms.

With concern growing in the neurology community and beyond, NeurologyLive spoke to Robert Fox, MD, neurologist at the Mellen Center for MS and vice chair for research at the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic, to learn more about what the hospital is doing to counsel patients through this time and provide guidance for staff to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

“At this point, the Mellen Center at the Cleveland Clinic is recommending that patients not cancel, interrupt, or delay scheduled doses of their MS medication. We believe that the way the medications work, the duration of action of these medications, and the risks of MS disease activity coming back are all reasons to continue MS therapies without interruption,” Fox said. “Given what we know about the current risks of COVID-19, MS therapy interruptions appear more likely to be harmful than helpful.”

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In response to the heightened concern, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with support from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition, has released treatment guidelines regarding DMT use during the COVID-19 pandemic.1

Beyond strongly encouraging patients with MS to adhere to prevention guidelines from the CDC, the organization also recommends that patients continue treatment with their DMTs and discuss any specific risks directly with their MS care provider. In addition, the guidelines state that patients and their providers should strongly consider individual risk-benefit profiles before starting a cell-depleting DMT or a DMT associated with a severe increase in disability after stopping.1

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Severe COVID-19 in Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Disability Status, Age, Obesity

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention       -  Stay Healthy, Stay Home and Wash Your Hands
_____________________________________________________________________________
Notably, the cohort assessment did not identify a link between exposure to disease-modifying therapies and COVID-19 severity.

By: Matt Hoffman
Published: July 01, 2020


Céline Louapre, MD, PhD
In a recent attempt to understand the risk factors involved for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to possibly develop a severe form of the novel COVID-19 infection, results suggest that neurological disability, age, and obesity were all associated with severe infection. No link was observed between exposure to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and COVID-19 severity.1

Conducted by Céline Louapre, MD, PhD, of the Clinical Investigation Center, L'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, and colleagues, the cohort study included 347 patients with MS. Infection severity was assessed on a 7-point ordinal scale ranging from 1—denoting no hospitalization with no limitations on activities—to 7—denoting death. There was a cutoff at 3 on the scale, which was defined as hospitalized and not requiring supplemental oxygen.

All told, 21% (n = 73) of patients had a severity score of ≥3, and 3.5% (n = 12) died from COVID-19. A higher proportion of those with a severity score of ≥3 had no DMT exposure (46%) compared to those with DMT exposure (15.5%; P 
(Originally posted by Stuart)
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High-Contrast Visual Acuity Test and Optic Neuritis

High-Contrast Visual Acuity Test and Optic Neuritis
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  -  Stay Healthy, Stay Home and Wash Your Hands
________________________________________________________________________________
Key opinion leaders discuss the importance of the high-contrast visual acuity tests to monitor for cognitive impairment in patients with optic neuritis subtypes. 

Robert Sergott, MD; Rod Foroozan, MD
PUBLISHED June 30, 2020




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Targeting Bruton Tyrosine Kinase for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

An in-depth look into the expanding landscape of Multiple Sclerosis treatments that target bruton tyrosine kinase. 

By: Jennifer S. Sun, PhD - June 30, 2020

Bruton Tyrosine Kinase (BTK), a Tec family nonreceptor tyrosine kinase1 critical for the development of B cells and several other hematopoietic lineages2 (except for T cells, plasma cells, and natural killer cells3), is a recent focus of therapeutics.4 BTK informs immune responses by acting as an early downstream amplification enzyme of the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR)5-8 and cytokine receptor pathways.8,9 BTK signaling influences antigen presentation on B cells10 and is essential to the production of antibodies, proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and cell adhesion molecules.11,12 Through these mechanisms, BTK helps transmit the signals that allow immune cells to respond to foreign antigens by targeting the cells presenting them for destruction.13-15

Harmful consequences arise when the immune system mistakes self-proteins as foreign antigens, with BTK promoting autoantibody secretion by autoreactive B cells.8,14,15 Autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS)16 result from this dysregulated production of autoantibodies, which leads to destruction of normal tissue.17 Malfunctioning BTK mutants have been linked to increased disease susceptibility, correlating with diminished numbers of mature B cells and immunoglobulin isotypes.18,19 BTK therefore serves as an important target for therapeutic agents that modulate innate immunity.

Interactions between T cells, B cells, and myeloid cells promote MS pathology,16 and BTK is a component of signaling events with a critical role in regulating hematopoietic cell circulation.20 MS is a chronic, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system21 and is the most common, nontraumatic, disabling neurological autoimmune disease, with approximately 2.3 million cases diagnosed worldwide.22 B cells contribute to MS pathogenesis as a result of being skewed toward a proinflammatory profile involving antibody production, antigen presentation, T-cell stimulation, production of proinflammatory cytokines, formation of ectopic meningeal germinal centers, and deposition of oligoclonal bands of immunoglobulin in areas of active demyelination.23-25 Briefly, the body’s immune system begins to attack myelin, a protective sheath covering nerve fibers. The nervous system is consequently “short-circuited,” potentially permanently.26

Treatments for MS aim to shorten the duration and severity of relapses, prolong the time between relapses, and delay progression of disability.27 The most well-studied type of therapy targeting B cells consists of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that deplete B cells through mechanisms of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and apoptosis.23 Rituximab, for example, a mAb targeting the B-cell antigen CD20, depletes B cells and reduces T cells in the cerebrospinal fluid. However, rituximab is incapable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or lymphoid organs and is unsuccessful in slowing disease progression.23,28 To overcome the limitations of mAbs,28 MS treatment efforts have turned to BTK inhibitors (FIGURE).29


The ideal BTK inhibitor would be a rapidly reversible, BBB-penetrant, highly selective, modulatory approach to target B-cell activation without widespread depletion of B cells.8,9,23,30,31 Rather, the B-cell response to BCR stimuli is lowered, tolerogenic B cells are maintained, and antigen-mediated proinflammatory activation is neutralized.8,12,15,31 BTK is already a target in treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and rheumatoid arthritis via the prominent BTK inhibitor ibrutinib. However, ibrutinib exhibits off-target kinase-inhibitory effects and is associated with immunosuppression and bleeding complications.32-34 BTK inhibitors in development for chronic administration thus have more refined pharmacologic profiles, including high BTK selectivity and moderate clearance.29,35





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Ocrelizumab Compared to Glatiramer Acetate and Dimethyl Fumarate for MS

Ocrelizumab Compared to Glatiramer Acetate and Dimethyl Fumarate for MS
Jul 02, 2020 — Mark Freedman, MD, outlines a retrospective trial presented at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) 2020 Meeting reviewing first-line Ocrelizumab compared to Glatiramer Acetate and Dimethyl Fumarate for treatment of relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

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Researchers develop a potential treatment approach for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease

Researchers develop a potential treatment approach for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Jul 1 2020

A team led by Case Western Reserve University medical researchers has developed a potential treatment method for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a fatal neurological disorder that produces severe movement, motor and cognitive dysfunction in children. It results from genetic mutations that prevent the body from properly making myelin, the protective insulation around nerve cells.

Using mouse models, the researchers identified and validated a new treatment target-;a toxic protein resulting from the genetic mutation. Next, they successfully used a family of drugs known as ASOs (antisense oligonucleotides) to target the ribonucleic acid (RNA) strands that created the abnormal protein to stop its production. This treatment reduced PMD's hallmark symptoms and extended lifespan, establishing the clinical potential of this approach.

By demonstrating effective delivery of the ASOs to myelin-producing cells in the nervous system, researchers raised the prospect for using this method to treat other myelin disorders that result from dysfunction within these cells, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Their research was published online July 1 in the journal Nature.

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Experts Confident Biden’s COVID-19 Response Could Speed Recovery

Share on PinterestMedical experts say they believe Biden’s plan to address COVID-19 would emphasize a better future for how to handle the continued threat of the outbreak. Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has outlined a range of proposals for crafting a better national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.Medical experts say a lack of testing and supplies early on in the pandemic here in the U.S. hampered our response.However, they are encouraged by Biden’s plan since it calls for listening to experts in the field and relying on a task force to monitor and bring about more serious COVID-19 testing procedures.Nevertheless, they emphasize the need for additional changes to our healthcare system to effectively respond to a crisis like this in the future.

It’s now officially summer and increasingly more states are reopening their economies after a winter and spring where the United States effectively shut down during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time that summer temperatures rise and the nation at large grapples with how best to handle the coronavirus outbreak and protect against surges in new cases, a divisive general election season is heating up.

President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic Party nominee former Vice President Joe Biden are running against each other during a time when concerns over people’s individual health, the nation’s healthcare system, and state and federal response to COVID-19 all take center stage in both political and public health debates.

This spring, as criticism continued to build up over the federal government’s response to COVID-19 testing and tracing nationwide, the Biden campaign released its own coronavirus outbreak response plan. In a blog post published on Medium, the campaign’s public health advisory committee laid out an extensive COVID-19 testing plan.

In the post, the campaign asserts that reopening and strengthening the U.S. economy and protecting the public health of its citizens shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. They outline a range of proposals for crafting a better national COVID-19 response, from increased supply and access to personal protective equipment (PPE) to more rigorous testing and tracing for the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus Outbreak: Daily Updates

The outbreak, initially identified in China, is continuing to grow.The disease is called COVID-19. It’s caused by an infection with the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is one of multiple coronaviruses that can be transmitted to humans.Other examples of coronaviruses include SARS, MERS, and even the common cold.
Globally, there have been more than 10.3 million confirmed cases and more than 500,000 associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.The United States currently has the highest reported number of confirmed cases with over 2.6 million. However, due to a lack of testing, the number of actual cases may be far higher. More than 126,000 people in the United States have died from the disease and more than 30,000 are currently being hospitalized.

Healthline will update this page every weekday. For more information about the virus, go here.

Leaders of the European Union have announced that most travelers from the United States will be barred from entering when countries reopen their borders on Wednesday.

The European leaders said they’re taking the action because the spread of COVID-19 is still too prevalent in the United States.

They also said the list of countries from which travelers can arrive will be reviewed every 2 weeks and could be revised.

More time spent indoors to escape summer’s heat may increase risk of COVID-19, according to Edward Nardell, a professor of medicine and global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts.

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How Barbers Are Stepping Up for Black Men and Mental Health

Share on PinterestThe Confess Project, a nonprofit organization, is working to change conversations about mental health in communities of color by utilizing barbers to connect with Black men. Image via The Confess Project
The Confess Project is a nonprofit organization that utilizes barbers across the country to connect with men of color and raise awareness about mental health.Through a 12-month curriculum, barbers get trained on active listening, validating clients’ emotions and concerns, and how to use positive language to combat stigma around mental health. They also learn about mental health resources in their area to which they can direct clients.Family support, social support networks, and education are primary reasons people go to and remain in mental health services when they need them.

Lorenzo P. Lewis was born while his parents were incarcerated. At birth, his aunt was declared his legal guardian. When he was 10 years old, his father died from substance use.

“My being born in prison was a symptom of generational trauma. Across both sides of my families, I have several family members who were incarcerated and who had substance abuse. I believe trauma evolves over generations and doesn’t just happen to one person,” Lewis told Healthline.

While his aunt was an involved caregiver and provided the basic needs of food and shelter, he said the emotional distress he experienced from being disconnected from his parents and siblings manifested into trauma.

As a child and teenager, Lewis struggled with educational, behavioral, emotional, and physical distress, including obesity. He also experienced anger, irritability, anxiety, and depression, but wasn’t diagnosed with major depression until his 30s.

“I also experienced racism in schools early on around the time my dad died. [Shortly after], I had to spend 3 months in a behavioral health facility, which was a big shift in how I view the world,” said Lewis.

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Novel brain pathology could improve diagnosis, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

Novel brain pathology could improve diagnosis, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Jun 30 2020

Bristol scientists have discovered a novel pathology that occurs in several human neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease.

The article, published in Brain Pathology, describes how SAFB1 expression occurs in both spinocerebellar ataxias and Huntington's disease and may be a common marker of these conditions, which have a similar genetic background.

SAFB1 is an important protein controlling gene regulation in the brain and is similar in structure to other proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases of age. The team, from the University of Bristol's Translational Health Sciences, wanted to find out if this protein might be associated with certain neurodegenerative conditions.

The researchers analyzed SAFB1 expression in the post-mortem brain tissue of spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA's), Huntington's disease (HD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease patients and controls. They found that SAFB becomes abnormally expressed in the nerve cells of brain regions associated with SCA and HD. Both of these conditions are associated with a specific pathology, called a polyglutamine expansion (an amino acid repeat), which only occurs in SCAs and HD. The same pathology was therefore not seen in control Parkinson's disease or Multiple Sclerosis.

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Novel pathology could improve diagnosis and treatment of Huntington's and other diseases

Bristol scientists have discovered a novel pathology that occurs in several human neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease.

The article, published in Brain Pathology, describes how SAFB1 expression occurs in both spinocerebellar ataxias and Huntington's disease and may be a common marker of these conditions, which have a similar genetic background.

SAFB1 is an important protein controlling gene regulation in the brain and is similar in structure to other proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases of age. The team, from the University of Bristol's Translational Health Sciences, wanted to find out if this protein might be associated with certain neurodegenerative conditions.

The researchers analysed SAFB1 expression in the post-mortem brain tissue of spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA's), Huntington's disease (HD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease patients and controls. They found that SAFB becomes abnormally expressed in the nerve cells of brain regions associated with SCA and HD. Both of these conditions are associated with a specific pathology, called a polyglutamine expansion (an amino acid repeat), which only occurs in SCAs and HD. The same pathology was therefore not seen in control Parkinson's disease or Multiple Sclerosis.

"These novel findings highlight a previously unknown mechanism causing disease which, importantly, suggests SAFB1 may be a diagnostic marker for polyglutamine expansion diseases, such as HD said lead author, James Uney, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Bristol.

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Who Is Most At-Risk for Severe COVID-19?

The 24-hour news cycle is just as important to medicine as it is to politics, finance, or sports. At MedPage Today, new information is posted daily, but keeping up can be a challenge. As an aid for our readers and for a little amusement, here is a 10-question quiz based on the news of the week. Topics include COVID-19 risk factors, future pandemic preparation, and effects on kids from parents' mental illness. After taking the quiz, scroll down in your browser window to find the correct answers and explanations, as well as links to the original articles.

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Arizona Bar Bans Vapor Over Covid-19 Concerns

Photo: Vchalup | Dreamstime.com

A bar in Chandler, Arizona is asking customers to vape outside because they worry vape clouds could spread Covid-19. The bar, Tom Ryan’s, recently took to their social media pages to inform customers that vaping was no longer allowed indoors.

Bar manager Paige Lokkessmoe said that after seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases it wasn’t sitting well with them to allow people to keep vaping inside, according to an article on azfamily.com. Numerous public health experts, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention have said there is no evidence e-cigarette vapor spreads Covid.19

“We decided to stop allowing vaping in the bar because we were, kind of, just looking at the vaping smoke and seeing it settle everywhere around us. And the concern is the ice [and] the bottles that have pour spouts on them,” Lokkessmoe said.

According to Dan Quan, a toxicologist from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, the droplets that people produce when they sneeze or cough are the same as when they exhale, say, a cloud of smoke.

“Let’s say I take a deep breathe in and I exhale forcibly, I mean, there are still some droplets that form– and that’s why we suggest everyone wear masks because it does cut down on the amount of droplets dispersed in the air,” Quan said, adding that if you’re going to vape, take it outside because the fresh air will help dilute the droplets. Vaping and smoking will still be allowed on the patio at Tom Ryan’s.

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L.A. Moving to Make Changes to Its Legal Marijuana Market

Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to make numerous changes to its once-flourishing marijuana market. The legislative body gave its initial approval to expand licensing and get more assistance to operators who endured the consequences of the nation’s war on drugs.

Broad legal sales kicked off in California in 2018, and at that time Los Angeles was expected to quickly establish itself as a world-leading cannabis economy, according to an article from the Associated Press. “But that never happened. Instead, robust illegal sales continue to outpace the up-and-down legal market, while businesses complain that hefty taxes and a cumbersome bureaucracy have slowed, rather than encouraged, growth,” the article states.

The new revisions are designed to provide a jump in licenses for so-called “social-equity” applicants. These include individuals, many of color, who were arrested or convicted of a marijuana-related offense, and lower-income residents who live, or have lived, in neighborhoods marked by high marijuana arrest rates.

Only applicants meeting those criteria would be eligible for new retail and delivery licenses through 2025.

The council also seeks to help businesses wanting licenses to quickly get temporary approval to begin operating once certain benchmarks are met. The rules would permit businesses to relocate while being licensed and streamline the application process, according to the article.

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