Medical Watch Digest for Sept 21

Teens & Tobacco

The Office of the Inspector General says federal regulators need to do more to keep kids and teens from using tobacco and vaping products.

The report points to the food and drug administration saying it needs to get tough on retailers selling tobacco products to young people and improve oversight of online retailers.

The Inspector General report also said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should work with the FDA to help stop online tobacco sales to kids.

More Free Covid Tests

You’ll soon be able to order free, at-home Covid tests again this fall.

The Biden Administration is using $600 million to replenish its supply and make the tests readily available.

On Monday will let households order up to four tests at no cost.

They’ll be shipped through the U.S Postal Service.

The website will remain live through the holidays, and could stay active as long as needed.

Supply Shortages

More than 15% of U.S. adults are dealing with medication or medical equipment shortages.

A Census survey done between August 23 and September 4 shows more than 45 million Americans couldn’t get prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, home medical equipment, or other important items in the prior 30 days. 

Around half of them said they faced mental distress or had negative health affects as a result.

Almost 5 million people postponed care or treatment.

Sign up for our Medical Watch newsletter. This daily update includes important information from WGN’s Dina Bair and the Med Watch team including the latest updates from health organizations, in-depth reporting on advancements in medical technology and treatments as well as personal features related to people in the medical field. Sign up here.