Pharmaceuticals

"Pharmaceuticals" Main

Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Novartis CEO Justifies Decision To Delay Telling FDA About Manipulated Data For $2.1M Gene Therapy Drug

KHN Morning Briefing

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said the company “thoroughly, aggressively” investigated whether the issue would effect patient safety. The FDA, after publicly rebuking the company, came to a similar conclusion that patients aren’t at risk because of the lapse in judgment. Other pharmaceutical industry news looks at Gilead’s pricey HIV drug, cell therapies, the cost of a snakebite, and more.

Profit-Mining An Epidemic: Legal Loophole Allows Charlatans Operating Unregulated, Dangerous Sober Homes To Thrive

KHN Morning Briefing

Unlike other treatment facilities, it doesn’t require training or any kind of license to open a sober home. In that unregulated environment, bad actors have been taking advantage of a population of vulnerable recovering addicts. In other news on the crisis: the legal cases against drugmakers, a look at the areas where opioids flooded in the most, and more.

Trump’s Plan To Allow Americans To Import Drugs From Canada Blasted By Critics As A ‘Band-Aid’

KHN Morning Briefing

In an about-face, HHS Secretary Alex Azar touted the administration’s openness to the idea that importing drugs from Canada can help make them more affordable to Americans. The plan would allow state governments, pharmacies and drug manufacturers to come up with proposals for safe importation and submit them for federal approval. Some lawmakers and experts welcome the proposal as a first step, but others were disappointed. “This is kind of a distraction from the real issue, and the real problem,” said Elizabeth Rowley, the founder and director of T1International, a diabetes advocacy group. “Which is pharmaceutical companies are setting costs at exorbitant rates and patients are suffering and dying.”

Biden, Harris Butt Heads Over Health Care: Second Night Of Debates Solidifies Deep Intraparty Divide On Hot-Button Issue

KHN Morning Briefing

Health care once again took center stage at the second night of the latest round of 2020 Democratic presidential debates. Front-runner candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) scuffled over their health plans — with Biden arguing that the Affordable Care Act should be built up while Harris backed a more progressive expansion of Medicare. Their arguments echo a larger fight within the party over where to go next with health care. Media outlets offer in-depth coverage of the debate night from fact checking dubious figures to taking a look at where the other candidates stand on the issue.

Drugmakers To Fork Over $70 Million To California To Settle ‘Pay For Delay’ Allegations From State

KHN Morning Briefing

The “pay for delay” agreements involve one company paying other drugmakers to refrain from producing a generic version after the drug’s patent expires. The practices caused consumers “to pay as much as 90% more for drugs shielded from competition,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office said. Four settlements were reached with drug companies Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma. Meanwhile, Pfizer confirms its reported plans to absorb Mylan.

Kamala Harris Unveils Health Plan That Would Expand Medicare But Keep Private Insurers In The Fold

KHN Morning Briefing

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, splits the difference between the plans from rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Her plan would give consumers a choice of joining a government plan modeled on Medicare or choosing from insurance policies modeled on those in Medicare Advantage, and would be run by private insurers rather than the government. “If they want to play by our rules, they can be in the system. If not, they have to get out,” Harris said of the insurance companies. Her shifting position on whether they would be included in her health plan has brought her criticism in the past.

Prestigious Consulting Firm McKinsey Thrust Into Spotlight Over Advice It Gave To Drugmakers At Height Of Opioid Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

Court cases over the opioid epidemic are putting an embarrassing spotlight on McKinsey’s strategic advice that’s usually kept strictly behind a curtain. One lawsuit stated that McKinsey advised a pharmaceutical company to “get more patients on higher doses of opioids” and study techniques “for keeping patients on opioids longer.” In other news on the epidemic: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) rails against companies that he says have hurt Americans through the crisis, the Massachusetts attorney general is investigating a pharmacy over improper prescriptions for opioids, and more.

Senate Finance’s Sweeping Drug Prices Bill Moves Forward But It Has A Bumpy Path In Front Of It

KHN Morning Briefing

In particular, a provision that would cap drug prices paid by Medicare based on the rate of inflation has sparked some pushback even among Republicans who voted to advance the long-awaited bill. And Democrats, who unanimously voted to advance the bill, may still kill it. Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is trying to make the case that lawmakers may not like his bill, but they’ll dislike what the Trump administration and House Democrats come up with more.

Medicare Spent $2.8 Billion On Drugs That Other Wealthy Countries Wouldn’t Cover Or Recommend

KHN Morning Briefing

“Other developed nations assessed drugs based on value … but the U.S. remains one of the few developed nations that doesn’t,” said Alexander Egilman, a researcher at Yale. “We all say we spend too much on drugs, and this approach seems to be working for other countries, based on outcomes, such as lifespans. So why aren’t we considering this?” In other pharmaceutical news: dark money, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb’s new position, off-label marketing practices, and more.

Senate’s Proposed Package To Target High Drug Prices Is A Big Overhaul That Comes With Even Bigger Questions

KHN Morning Briefing

The bipartisan proposal released from the Senate Finance Committee this week has won praise from a number of Washington’s loudest drug pricing advocates, but the magnitude of the proposal has even some of Washington’s most outspoken drug pricing experts grappling with its long-term implications. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Alex Azar is throwing his weight behind the legislation.