✦ Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) has hired an external law firm to investigate whether Centene Corp. overcharged the state when managing pharmacy benefits for its Medicaid managed care program, the Daily Journal reported on March 23. The article noted that Ohio’s attorney general, Dave Yost (R), is working with the same firm in that state’s recently unveiled lawsuit against Centene, which claims its subsidiary Buckeye Health Plan used a network of PBM subcontractors to “fleece taxpayers out of millions” of dollars — a claim that the insurer denies. Read more at https://bit.ly/3lOpoZ9.
✦ The National Institute of Health (NIH) Data Safety and Monitoring Board raised concerns on March 23 that initial data that AstraZeneca PLC had just released regarding a clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine “may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.” AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not yet been authorized for emergency use in the U.S., but it is stirring up controversy overseas. Multiple countries recently temporarily suspended use of the shot over concerns about its side effects before European regulators affirmed their confidence in its safety, according to news reports. Read the NIH’s statement at https://bit.ly/39bb6gb.