KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Drug Industry News: FDA Offers Warning About Compounding Pharmacy; More On Sovaldi

This latest warning is the Food and Drug Administration's third in 15 months.  

The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: FDA Spars With Recalcitrant Compounding Pharmacy, Again
For the third time in 15 months, the FDA is warning health care providers and consumers not to use drugs that were made by a Dallas compounder because the medicines may be contaminated. And the ongoing struggle between the agency and NuVision Pharmacy underscores the difficulties that beset the pharmaceutical supply chain despite a recently passed law designed to bolster safety (Silverman, 7/21).

Meanwhile, praise and criticism continues regarding the new and costly hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Could Add $300 To Every American’s Yearly Premium, CVS Says
Gilead Sciences’ new hepatitis C drug receives as much praise for its healing powers as it receives criticism of its price, $84,000 for 12 weeks. Those parallel storylines played out even further in a prominent scientific journal’s latest edition, published online over the weekend. In one study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Sovaldi and the medication with which it must be taken, ribavirin, were found to cure high rates of patients with both hepatitis C and HIV. In a commentary in the same publication, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers complained that the cost of covering new hepatitis C drugs, including Sovaldi, could add as much as $300 annually to every American’s health insurance premium over the next five years (Lee, 7/21).

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