KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Drug Makers’ Funding To Patient Groups Has Stifled Crucial Voice In Cost Debate, Critics Say

But one reason for the lack of interest in the topic could be that the organizations are focused on developing drugs to cure diseases. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is halting trials of drugs in the same class as the one that left a patient brain dead and five others hospitalized in France.

USA Today: Patient Groups Funded By Drugmakers Are Largely Mum On High Drug Prices
Drug companies provide so much of the funding for major patient groups that many critics say they've stifled a key voice in the policy debate over soaring drug prices, especially over those for cancer. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for example, gets $50 million a year from drugmakers, which comes to about 16% of their funding. The National Patient Advocate Foundation receives 60% of its $2 million budget from the pharmaceutical industry, while the Colon Cancer Alliance gets 15% of its $1.2 million budget. Several other groups get up to 20% of their revenue from drug companies. (O'Donnell, 1/21)

Reuters: J&J Stops Trials Of Drug Similar To One Linked To Brain Death In France
Johnson & Johnson has suspended international trials of a drug in the same class as an experimental drug made by Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial, whose tests in France left one person brain dead and five others hospitalized. A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson said in an emailed statement that it voluntarily suspended two mid-stage trials and had not received reports of serious adverse events in its studies of patients with social anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder with anxious distress. (Beasley, 1/21)

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