KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Early Approval Of Generic MS Drug Signals Big Changes For Teva And Other Drugmakers

Teva had lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to reject Mylan's generic version of its Copaxone multiple sclerosis medication. In other drug industry news: an experimental drug is found to work on a mutant gene; advocates await Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown's decision on a drug pricing bill; and Cleveland Clinic's CEO wants supporters of a drug pricing ballot measure in Ohio to stop using his image.

Stat: What Are The Implications Of A Generic Teva MS Drug? Here's What The Wags Say
In a surprise move, U.S. regulators approved a generic version of Teva Pharmaceutical’s (TEVA) Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug earlier than investors expected. And the decision portends big changes not only for Teva — Copaxone is a key contributor to its sales and profits — but also for generic companies more broadly, as far as some Wall Street wags are concerned. The approval creates a heightened challenge for Teva, which is already in disarray. (Silverman, 10/4)

Stat: A Drug With The Power To Mute Defective Genes Raises Hopes — Cautiously
The experimental drug has startling powers: It can turn down a mutant gene in a patient’s body, stopping the production of proteins that cause a terribly painful rare disease. A crucial, late-stage clinical trial showed that the drug works — and that it’s safe. And now the biotech company behind it, Alnylam, is poised to bring this first-of-its-kind therapy to market. (Keshavan, 10/5)

NPR: Gov. Brown To Sign Or Veto Controversial Drug Price Law
Insurers, hospitals and health advocates are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to deal the drug lobby a rare defeat, by signing legislation that would force pharmaceutical companies to justify big price hikes on drugs in California. "If it gets signed by this governor, it's going to send shock waves throughout the country," said state Sen. Ed Hernandez, a Democrat from West Covina, the bill's author and an optometrist. "A lot of other states have the same concerns we have, and you're going to see other states try to emulate what we did." (Dembosky, 10/4)

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