Healthcare Roundup—Pfizer manufacturing problems continue hospital opioid shortages; LabCorp to offer results on Apple's Health app

Pfizer sign
Shortages of Pfizer injectable painkillers have taken a toll on its finances. (Pfizer)

Pfizer manufacturing ills mean ongoing injectable opioid shortages for hospitals

Pfizer has ongoing manufacturing struggles at some of its Hospira plants, the drug giant acknowledged on Tuesday. 

The issue is a bad sign not just for investors but also for U.S. hospitals since manufacturing problems at Hospira that hit the company's earnings also mean ongoing drug shortages for healthcare providers.

In particular, the problem has been especially acute at Pfizer’s plant in McPherson, Kansas, where its Hospira unit is the largest producer of injectable opioid analgesics used in hospitals. (FiercePharma)

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LabCorp makes test results accessible through Apple’s Health app

One of the largest commercial clinical laboratories in the country is making test results available to patients through Apple’s Health app.

LabCorp, which processes more than 2.5 million lab tests each week and encounters 115 million patients each year, announced that patients registered with the company’s patient portal are now able to access test results on their iPhone via the Health app.

David King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said integrating lab results onto the app “will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health.” (FierceHealthcare)

Florida, Texas nurses among those voting to ratify contracts at HCA-affiliated hospitals

More than 7,000 registered nurses at 17 HCA-affiliated hospitals in Florida, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and Nevada voted to ratify new contracts earlier this month, the country's largest nurses' union, National Nurses United, said in a release.

The contracts include the creation of a new "critical-needs staffing differential" that will provide for additional staffing to provide consistently optimal staffing. It will also include raises, maintenance of existing health insurance coverage, improvements in tuition reimbursement and coverage for Family Medical Leave.

It will also include increases in protections and solutions to prevent workplace violence. The contracts will run until mid-2021. (Release

Nurses call on VA Secretary Wilkie to sign contract

National Nurses United (NNU) is pushing for Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to sign a contract VA government negotiators reached with the union in July. 

Wilkie disapproved the three-year contract agreement on Oct. 19 and made note of 357 objections in the contract, NNU said. 

“Wilkie’s unwillingness to sign the contract is yet another attack on workers’ rights and an attempt to dampen the collective voice of nurses as they advocate for the highest quality of care for the veterans who receive treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, R.N., in a statement. (Release)

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