Overnight Healthcare: Obama to headline high-profile drug summit

DRUG SUMMIT: President Obama will deliver his most high-profile remarks to date on drug abuse at a national summit next week.

With momentum surging in the fight against drug abuse, Obama will take part in a panel at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, billed as the nation's largest collaboration of drug abuse prevention advocates.

Also speaking: FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, NIH Director Francis Collins, and CDC Director Tom Frieden. West Virginia leaders, Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, will also attend.

It's the White House's latest step to raise the profile of drug abuse in a string of actions this year. In the last two months, Obama released a budget calling for $1.1 billion to fight drug addiction and two agencies released new policies designed to cut back on doctors prescribing powerful painkillers and better review overall drug approvals.

"This administration has made addressing this epidemic a priority and has put in place programs and resources that can reduce drug misuse and overdose," top White House officials wrote in a letter to all 50 governors this month. That letter was signed by Vilsack, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli.

Obama's last big move on drug addiction came in October, when he stood beside Burwell in her home state of West Virginia and promised a more aggressive approach for prescriber training.

THE PEOPLE WANT MORE CANCER FUNDING: Nearly nine in 10 people say they support at least a 20 percent bump in cancer funding. It's an overwhelming agreement that crosses party lines, and could give a boost to Vice President Biden's "moonshot" bid to accelerate cancer treatments in the next five years.

About 47 percent of people say cancer is the most serious disease or health condition facing Americans -- even though it kills fewer people than heart disease each year. Only 11 percent of people said heart disease was the top threat, followed by 8 percent of people who said diabetes. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1PvxI6w

'UNPRECEDENTED BIPARTISAN SUPPORT': It's not often that we hear this about health policy. But that's what we heard from the Coalition for Medicare Choices on Friday as it announced a letter with 404 lawmakers opposing proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. http://bit.ly/1RBmzSS

INDIANA BANS ABORTIONS FOR FETAL DEFECTS: Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed a law that bans abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities like Down syndrome.

The law – which is in effect in only one other state – is controversial even within the GOP. Several of the state's Republican lawmakers called it "overreaching." The law is likely to land in the courts. Planned Parenthood of Indiana says it will ask a state court to block the measure before it goes into effect this summer. Read the story from the Indianapolis Star here.


U.S. health officials tell couples exposed to Zika to wait to conceive (Reuters)

The right way to encourage companies to develop treatment for Zika (Politico Agenda)

Merck awarded $200M for Gilead patent violations (MarketWatch)

U.S. hospitals are getting hit by hackers (CNN Money)


Pence signs new abortion restrictions into law with prayer (Indy Star)

Louisiana needs help from Congress on Medicaid expansion costs (Times-Picayune Editorial)


CBO trims tally for ObamaCare enrollment http://bit.ly/25nP54R

PR firm no longer representing Michigan on Flint water disaster http://bit.ly/1Slpqmd 

Senate Dem picking fight with NFL http://bit.ly/1UL7xRk


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