Important pharmacy news and late-breaking industry information updated daily.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics. The new guide offers recommendations for clinicians who are considering or initiating a change in a patient's opioid dosage.

CDC issued on Friday updated interim clinical guidance for health care providers caring for individuals with lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products.

Thousands of lung injuries and several deaths have prompted U.S. officials to urge Americans to stop using e-cigarettes, especially those that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CMS on Wednesday released a proposed rule to remove what they describe as unintended hurdles to coordination of patient care due to outdated rules about clinicians' financial relationships. The measure would create new exceptions to the so-called Stark law, which dates to 1989.

Most pregnant women in the United States have not received the influenza and pertussis vaccines, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.

Researchers wanted to find out if providing free essential medicines increased adherence among patients who could not afford their medications. While not all measures of health outcomes improved, they found that more patients who received free essential medicines for 1 year in a randomized clinical trial adhered to treatment. The study findings were published on October 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to a new study published on October 1 in BMJ Open. The nested case-control study is the first to investigate the effects of different antidepressant classes and duration of use on the risk of gestational diabetes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Monday signed legislation enabling pharmacists in the state to dispense HIV prevention drugs to patients without a doctor's prescription. Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) without prescriptions.

Liver injury is estimated to occur in up to 19 cases per 100,000 persons, with up to 5% of hospital admissions for liver injury attributed to medication use. Despite the low proportion of hospitalizations, more than one-half of acute liver failures are drug induced. Diagnosing drug-induced liver injury is done by excluding other causes. However, considering the timing of injury as it relates to new drug use, what happens when the suspected drug is stopped or restarted, as well as the incidence of known liver injury with that drug and the overall presentation of the patient can be useful when performing this diagnosis of exclusion.

CDC reported Friday that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may play a major role in the outbreak of lung injuries linked to e-cigarettes and vaping. To date, 805 probable and confirmed cases of lung injury and 12 deaths have been associated with e-cigarette product use.