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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Minnesota AG Files Suit Against Drugmakers Over High Insulin Prices: It’s ‘A Life-Or-Death Drug For People’

KHN Morning Briefing

The lawsuit alleges the insulin makers fraudulently set an artificially high “list” price but then negotiate lower prices by paying rebates and discounts to pharmacy benefit managers. Stories of patients dying because they weren’t able to pay for their insulin have brought attention to the issue in recent months. Minnesota is the first state to go to court over the prices.

Unapproved, Sometimes Dangerous Drugs Found In Dietary Supplements

KHN Morning Briefing

The research most commonly turned up the drug sold as Viagra in the supplements. Despite what consumers may think, the supplements are actually regulated as food and therefore not subject to premarket safety and effectiveness testing imposed on pharmaceuticals.

Trump Administration Opened Door To Step Therapy And Insurance Giant Plans To Rush In

KHN Morning Briefing

Step therapy allows insurers to require patients to try cheaper drugs first and see if they fail before moving on to more expensive ones. UnitedHealth has decided to require the method, which is supported by the Trump administration which rolled out new step therapy rules this year. Other pharmaceutical news includes Walgreens’ sales and biotech unicorns.

CVS-Aetna Merger Clears Crucial Hurdle With Justice Department Approval

KHN Morning Briefing

The deal is one of several in recent years that has consolidated power among health care companies. Critics worry that the mergers will mean fewer choices and higher health care costs for consumers. “The combination of CVS and Aetna creates an enormous market force that we haven’t seen before,” said George Slover, a senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. CVS still needs to get approvals from several states.