Healthcare Roundup—Cannabis-derived drug gets FDA's OK; Michigan passes Medicaid work requirement

FDA approves cannabis-derived drug

The Food and Drug Administration approved a GW Pharma seizure drug, which is derived from the marijuana plant and will be aimed at helping children with two rare and serious forms of epilepsy.

The move to approve Epidiolex on Monday also gave companies looking to develop marijuana-based drugs a model for their own path to market, FiercePharma reported.

The company won't be able to launch the drug until it is rescheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The drug is made from purified cannabidiol, a chemical in cannabis, which is classified as Schedule I, that does not result in the high associated with marijuana use. The company said it expects to be able to the roll out the drug by this fall. (FiercePharma)

Michigan passes Medicaid work requirements

Starting in 2020, able-bodied adults in Michigan must participate in some kind of workforce engagement averaging 80 hours a month after Gov. Rick Snyder signed into a Medicaid work requirement into law.

Michigan was following in the footsteps of Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas and New Hampshire.  (FierceHealthcare)

New York to consider law to protect transgender patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his state would pursue state-level protections for transgender patients before any potential changes are made to the Affordable Care Act.  

In particular, the Trump administration has challenged whether a portion of the law which protects against sex discrimination also protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The New York State Department of Financial Services was ordered to issue new regulations to expand the scope of protections for transgender patients seeking coverage under the ACA, Cuomo said. (CBS New York)