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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

House Republicans To Offer Up Their Own Plan To Combat High Drug Prices To Counter Dems’ Aggressive Bill

KHN Morning Briefing

The Republicans’ bill would enact a $3,100 cap on out-of-pocket drug expenditures for Medicare beneficiaries and add monthly caps as well. The proposals are identical to ones that are in the Senate’s version of the legislation. In other pharmaceutical news: how to pay for expensive sickle cell treatments; FDA’s approval speed generates alarm; the government investigates possible carcinogens in diabetes drug; lawmakers urge HHS to probe patient assistance programs; and more.

Advocates: Gilead Exploited Patent System By Delaying Development Of Safer HIV Drug In Order To Reap Profits

KHN Morning Briefing

Gilead suspended development of the safer drug for five years, in what advocates claim was a tactic to extend its monopoly on the profits from the older treatment. In other pharmaceutical news: Biogen tries to make a case for its Alzheimer’s drug but some remain unpersuaded; Sage Therapuetics’ shares plummet after bad news on depression treatment; biotech investors say they’re not worried about Congress; and more.

It’s Common Knowledge That Many Side Effects Don’t Get Reported To FDA. But Study Reveals Startling Scope Of Problem.

KHN Morning Briefing

The study found that in one drug only 1% of an estimated 276,000 serious adverse events had been reported. Researchers say they data emphasizes the need for better surveillance of the risk of injury. In other pharmaceutical news: biotechs react to the House drug pricing bill, another drugmaker admits to price fixing, a new medicine might help curb dementia-related delusions, and more.

Low-Profile Pharma Group Taps Into Fears That Pelosi’s Drug Pricing Bill Will Threaten ‘Thousands Of Good-Paying Jobs’

KHN Morning Briefing

A coalition that includes major drugmakers like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson is running ads featuring workers in hard hats and hiring former labor officials and well-known union lobbyists to deliver their message. Many see the pairing between pharma and the unions as an odd one, because members often struggle with the high costs of drugs. Meanwhile, the White House contends that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug plan will hurt innovation.

FDA Nominee Advances Through Committee, But Concerns Over How He’d Handle Vaping Epidemic Linger

KHN Morning Briefing

Dr. Stephen Hahn is a noted oncologist from Texas and was nominated by President Donald Trump to replace former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb. He would be stepping into the job as the F.D.A. is confronting several crises, among them, the continuing outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) both aired concerns during the vote about Hahn’s commitment to tackling e-cigarettes.

PhRMA To Yank Millions In Funding From Nonprofit Geared Toward Helping Those Addicted To Opioids

KHN Morning Briefing

PhRMA, which is responsible for 90 percent of the Addiction Policy Forum’s funding, will walk back and then end its support by 2020. The forum was at the eye of previous controversy, with critics blasting the fact that most of its funding came from the drugmakers who they said were responsible for the crisis in the first place. News on the opioid epidemic comes out of Massachusetts and Ohio, as well.

Had African American Patients Been Prescribed Opioids At Same Level As White Ones, 14,000 More Would Have Died

KHN Morning Briefing

Data from the opioid crisis shows just how much racial bias about the pain tolerance of African American patients plays out in real life. In other news on the crisis: a growing concern that babies will be left out of financial settlements from drugmakers, a ban on addiction treatment dollars going to medical marijuana research, needle exchanges, overdose training and more.

Trump Will Release Plan To Allow States To Import Drugs; Pharma And Canada Both Remain Unhappy About Proposal

KHN Morning Briefing

“We will soon be putting more options on the table…” President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday. But it’s unclear how or if the proposal differs from one outlined this summer. Both drug companies and Canada — where the drugs would supposedly come from — oppose the idea. In other pharmaceutical news: Trump backs off from Medicare negotiation pledge, Novartis bets on heart drugs, an experimental dengue vaccine looks promising, and more.