Chicago Loretto Hospital vaccination list, JAMA editor on leave, Chicago COVID vaccinations in full swing by May

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Crain’s Health Pulse is your source for actionable, exclusive and inside news on the health care industry.

LAWMAKER’S LIST RAISES QUESTIONS OF WHETHER THOSE NOT YET ELIGIBLE GOT SHOTS: An influential state legislator who is also an executive at Loretto Hospital provided the West Side safety net with lists of individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19, outside the normal protocols for obtaining shots.

Crain’s obtained lists of 85 names that sources say were sent to the hospital by state Rep. Camille Lilly. She has served in the legislature since 2010, representing West Side neighborhoods in the city of Chicago and near west suburbs, and has been a leader in legislative matters related to health care. She is also chief external affairs officer at Loretto.

A person familiar with Loretto’s vaccination program tells Crain’s most of the people on the list came to the hospital and got vaccinated, despite not having made an appointment online or by phone, as members of the general public seeking vaccines are required to. The person says many individuals on lists brought others along for shots.

Lilly’s lists include columns with name, age, phone number and essential worker status, but some of the lists only include a portion of that information. The words "Phase 1B" appears next to every name. Of the 39 entries that include ages, 14 are under 65 and 25 are over 65. In the city of Chicago, where Loretto is located, phase 1B covered people 65 and older and frontline essential workers. It’s not clear who were eligible as frontline essential workers, as only 10 total entries were marked “essential.”

"No such list exists. Period," said hospital spokeswoman Becky Carroll. "Rep. Lilly, like other community partners, curated names of frontline workers and residents from Austin and the greater West Side to get them signed up and into the registration system to be vaccinated." READ MORE.

AMA PUTS JOURNAL EDITOR ON LEAVE FOLLOWING CONTROVERSIAL PODCAST ON RACISM: The American Medical Association’s independent Journal Oversight Committee said that it is placing JAMA editor-in-chief, Dr. Howard Bauchner, on administrative leave pending results of its investigation into a recent JAMA Network podcast and tweet. 

Bauchner’s leave began at the end of day March 25 when Dr. Phil Fontanarosa, JAMA executive editor, took the reins as interim editor, the AMA said in a statement.

"The decision to place the editor-in-chief on administrative leave neither implicates nor exonerates individuals and is standard operating procedure for such investigations," the statement said. 

The committee, which has editorial oversight of JAMA and the JAMA Network, initiated an investigation into how a Feb. 24 podcast and an associated tweet were developed, reviewed and ultimately published. The committee engaged independent outside investigators from the law firm Zuber Lawler "to ensure objectivity and the integrity of the investigation," the statement said.

The late February podcast, which has been deleted, discussed racism in medicine and featured a comment by then-JAMA Deputy Editor Dr. Edward Livingston, saying: "Structural racism is an unfortunate term. Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist," according to MedPage Today, which said a tweet promoting the podcast stated, "No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?"

The podcast and tweet received a great deal of online criticism, MedPage Today said.

CHICAGO VACCINATIONS KICKING INTO HIGHER GEAR: A majority of the city’s adults are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as Chicago enters Phase 1C today. The new phase includes people with certain underlying conditions and a broad swath of essential workers. 

By late April or early May, the city of Chicago’s vaccine program should be beyond the phase of hoping there’s enough doses and be working to get everyone it can vaccinated, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Friday.

At the current vaccination pace of roughly 10,500 doses a day, Arwady told aldermen at a City Council hearing that 50 percent of Chicago’s adults will have received at least one dose by late April or early May. Around 90 percent of adults could have their first dose by the end of July.

Supply continues to lag demand, as city leaders have complained for some time, but there is reason for hope: The city is expecting to get at least 7,000 additional Pfizer doses and 15,000 Johnson & Johnson doses. Plus, retailers like Walgreens, Jewel, Wal-Mart, and CVS are also receiving direct allocations from the federal government. Walgreens should receive 17,000 and Jewel, 5,000 doses. READ MORE.

STATE CONCERNED WITH RISING HOSPITALIZATIONS DOWNSTATE: The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching rapid response vaccination teams to Carroll, Ogle, Boone, Lee and Whiteside counties to address a "concerning possible trend in increasing COVID hospitalizations and case rates," IDPH said. It is also allowing eligibility for all people aged 16 and over to be expanded earlier than the statewide April 12 date.

IDPH said in a statement it has "seen vaccine demand slow in several counties throughout the state, with early signs of unfilled appointments and increased vaccine inventory," so those communities can vaccinate all residents in order to use all available doses.

While Illinois is on pace to reach 70 percent first doses for residents 65 years and older in the coming days, IDPH is monitoring an increase in new COVID hospital admissions, which will need to be addressed and resolved before moving into the bridge phase. IDPH epidemiologists will continue to focus on the most recent 10 days to monitor any acute trends that prevent the state from reaching the next reopening phase, the department said.

ALVOTECH DEFENDS ITSELF AGAINST ABBVIE POACHING LAWSUIT: AbbVie has sued biosimilar manufacturer Alvotech, claiming it recruited one of its former executives, Rongzan Ho, to steal secrets of Humira manufacturing. Ho managed biosimilar manufacturing on AVT02, Alvotech’s biosimilar to Humira.

“Instead of investing the necessary time and resources to independently develop the manufacturing process for its biosimilar, Alvotech embarked on an unlawful plot to surreptitiously take AbbVie’s confidential and proprietary trade secrets related to the confidential large-scale manufacturing process” for Humira, AbbVie’s suit claims.

In a statement Thursday, Alvotech disputed the allegations of wrongdoing relating to AVT02, and said it would "vigorously defend against these allegations."

Alvotech’s statement said "AbbVie waited over three years from the purported date of the alleged wrongdoing to file its case, doing so after the ex-AbbVie employee had already left Alvotech and without naming the ex-AbbVie employee as a defendant. This lack of urgency causes Alvotech to question the motivation behind the case. Indeed, Alvotech believes that the case may be part of a larger AbbVie strategy to delay an emerging competitor from providing patients with a lower-cost alternative to AbbVie’s Humira high-concentration product. Alvotech will continue its efforts to increase accessibility to high-quality and affordable medicines."

DEPAUL ANALYSIS LINKS DIABETES MORTALITY AND RACIAL INEQUITY: An analysis of data from the 30 largest cities in the U.S. shows how Black Americans are dying from diabetes at higher rates than their white neighbors, according to DePaul University psychologist Joanna Buscemi, lead author of a study published in the journal Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice.

 
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness about racial health disparities in the U.S.,” Buscemi said in a statement, noting that Black Americans are suffering greater rates of mortality from both COVID-19 and diabetes. Buscemi, an assistant professor in DePaul’s College of Science & Health, said that improving policies and conditions that impact patients with diabetes could help those same individuals if they do contract the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study showed:
• Diabetes mortality rates among Black Americans are higher than for white people in all 30 cities;
• Diabetes mortality inequities are four times larger in some cities compared to others;
• Only three of the 30 largest cities had low rates of diabetes mortality and inequity;
• Washington, D.C., diabetes mortality inequities are the highest of all 30 cities.

The statement said examining data at a city level can inform more targeted local policy interventions and programming to promote health equity, particularly within cities with the greatest inequities, because looking at the U.S. overall hides nuances and differences that exist across cities.

UBER EATS GETS INTO THE PRESCRIPTION DELIVERY BUSINESS: Uber Technologies and Nimble have launched on-demand prescription delivery in Chicago through the Uber Eats app, the companies said in a statement. Nimble’s manages a network of neighborhood pharmacies that coordinate fulfillment, and Uber Eats delivers the prescription. The program will not deliver controlled substances or work with government health care programs like Medicare, Medicai, or TRICARE. 

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nimble to bring quick, on-demand prescription delivery to Chicagoans across the city,” Robert Kellman, head of Midwest policy for Uber, said in the statement. “People are always looking for ways to conveniently and safely get the things they need—whether that be food, essential supplies or medicine, and we’re proud that Uber is now playing a role in bringing prescriptions right to customers’ doorsteps.”

TEMPUS GETS BREAKTHROUGH DESIGNATION FOR ECG PLATFORM: Chicago-based Tempus has received Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for its ECG Analysis Platform, with helps identify patients at increased risk of developing Afib. The designation helps move the product through the regulatory process on an expedited basis.

AFib, or atrial fibrillation, is a leading cause of stroke and is frequently unrecognized and untreated, Tempus said in a statement. There are no available devices to help physicians identify asymptomatic patients without a known history of cardiac arrhythmia who are at increased risk of future AFib. The Tempus ECG Analysis Platform analyzes results of a widely used clinical test, the 12-lead ECG, with software that identifies patients at increased risk of developing AFib or atrial flutter within the next 12 months.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

• Mario Treto Jr. has been nominated by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to serve as secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Treto is serving as acting secretary of the department, and was previously director of the state’s Division of Real Estate. Laurie A. Murphy has been tapped to serve as director of the real estate division. Upon state senate confirmation, Treto would officially assume the role from current IDFPR Secretary Deborah Hagen, who is retiring after nearly 40 years with the attorney general’s office and IDFPR.

via Crain’s Chicago Business https://ift.tt/1mywUHL

March 29, 2021 at 06:24AM

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