KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Dreary Biotech Landscape Could Lead To Cheap Deals For Big Pharma

Buying smaller companies with promising drug candidates is a way for larger biopharma companies to generate growth. In other pharmaceutical news, columnist Emily Bazar explains clinical trials, and in Indiana, a state Senate committee clears a bill allowing pharmacists to diagnose customers seeking cold medicine, and deem the treatment unnecessary.

The Wall Street Journal: Big Pharma’s Remedy For Beaten-Down Biotech Stocks
When the stock market hands you lemons, make a lemonade-flavored pill. That is one option for drug makers, who can use the gloom around biotech stocks to their advantage. The biotech sector has had a cruel start to the year. ... And the chilly market environment could eventually present a serious issue for small companies without established products. These must rely on external funding—often from the capital markets—to sustain their research operations. In the absence of funding to go it alone, these companies would need to find a partner with deeper pockets. Therein lies a potential silver lining, at least for bigger players. (Grant, 1/19)

Kaiser Health News: Want Into A Clinical Trial? Read This First.  
[Columnist Emily Bazar] explains how you can find clinical trials of drugs that could treat your condition – but access isn’t a sure thing. The trial could take a year or more of your time. And more often than not, the experimental drug doesn’t work. Less than 12 percent of the medicines that enter clinical trials are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. (Bazar, 1/20)

The Associated Press: Pharmacists Consultation Bill Clears Senate Committee
Indiana pharmacists could get the legal right to refuse to sell a common cold medicine used to make methamphetamine to suspicious customers under a bill a Senate committee approved Tuesday. The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee passed the measure 8-2 vote after hours of testimony. The measure would allow pharmacists to diagnose a customer's condition and determine if medicine containing pseudoephedrine is necessary, or if alternative medicine would work. Currently, customers need a driver's license in order to buy the medicine. (1/19)

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