Medicare will cover annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography in high-risk patients, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week.
To be covered, beneficiaries must meet the following conditions:
- be asymptomatic and aged 55 to 77;
- be either currently smoking or have stopped smoking within the past 15 years;
- have a smoking history of 30 or more pack-years;
- have a written order from a clinician obtained during a lung cancer screening counseling and shared decision-making visit, which includes information on the procedure’s risks and benefits.
CVS Caremark has announced plans to stop selling tobacco products at
all of its pharmacies by Oct. 1.
A JAMA viewpoint, co-written by CVS’s chief medical officer, notes
that pharmacy chains, including CVS, are adding retail health clinics
to assist in treating chronic conditions like hypertension,
hyperlipidemia, and diabetes, “all conditions exacerbated by smoking.”
The article continues: “Although the sale of tobacco products in CVS
pharmacies produces more than $1.5 billion in revenues annually, the
financial gain is outweighed by the paradox inherent in promoting
health while contributing to tobacco-related deaths.”
Several medical societies, including the American Lung Association,
came out in support of the move and encouraged other pharmacies to
In other anti-smoking news, the FDA is about to release a new anti-
smoking campaign aimed at high-risk youth aged 12 to 17. “The Real
Cost” will target teens’ concerns, such as the cosmetic consequences