KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives: A New Tactic For Lawmakers To Try: Put Patients’ Needs Ahead Of Industry’s Greed

Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.

Des Moines Register: Handing Money To Generic Drug Makers Won't Stop Price Spikes
Isla Weston was two months old when doctors diagnosed her with a life-threatening parasitic infection in May 2015. Without immediate intervention, the parasite would attack cells in her brain, potentially causing lifelong cognitive problems or death. The standard treatment is a one-year course of a drug called Daraprim. The cost per tablet is $750. That's expensive. Daraprim must be a new, miracle medicine sold by a drug company that poured millions of dollars into its development, right? (1/5)

Bloomberg: Takeda Takes The Hard Road
After watching its major stock index fall 21.7 percent in 2016, biotech both needs and expects some optimism-building deal action at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, which began on Monday in San Francisco. But Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s purchase of cancer drugmaker Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $4.66 billion -- at a 75 percent premium to Ariad's Friday share price, according to Monday's announcement -- was an unexpected kick-off. (Max Nisen, 1/10)

The Hill: Government Interference In Medicare Part D Endangers Seniors
This week, the U.S. Senate will hold a "Vote-A-Rama" session to consider dozens of amendments to the budget. One of these amendments would allow the government to negotiate the prices of medicines covered under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Proponents of the amendment believe using the government's purchasing power would lower the price of drugs, benefiting patients. This is incorrect. (Bob Blancato, 1/10)

Fayetteville Observer: Drug Research Under Threat
The Raleigh suburb of Clayton. The plant, which is specifically designed to manufacture diabetes medications, is further evidence that North Carolina has grown into one of the world's premier places for drug innovation. Statewide, researchers are testing experimental medicines in about 900 clinical trials, half of which target debilitating chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. However, this research is now under threat from the federal government. (Ricky Duck, 1/7)

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