"Pharmaceuticals" Main

Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Naloxone Has Become Key Weapon In Fight Against Opioid Crisis. But Is It Doing More Harm Than Good?

KHN Morning Briefing

A new working paper finds that there’s been a 14-percent increase in opioid-related mortality attributable to expanded naloxone access. Many in the field are troubled by the moral implications of publishing research making claims that could have wide-reaching ramifications. Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan senators introduce legislation to strength the DEA’s role in curbing the epidemic.

House’s New ‘Right To Try’ Legislation Ensures FDA’s Oversight Of Terminally Ill Patients Getting Untested Drugs

KHN Morning Briefing

The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week. Both the Senate and the president have backed the right-to-try movement in the past. Also on Capitol Hill, the Senate is turning its focus on the contentious debate over the 340B drug discount program, the pharmaceutical industry is trying to get lawmakers to undo a deal that would force drugmakers to pick up more of the tab for prescription spending in the Medicare doughnut hole, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants more donations transparency.

This Judge Overseeing More Than 400 Opioid Cases Is Going Wildly Off Script. Will It Work?

KHN Morning Briefing

Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio is adjudicating the consolidated legal cases against drugmakers for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. He has already informed the lawyers that he intends to dispense with legal norms like discovery, and is after a real solution to the crisis. The move is shaking up legal circles, according to advocates and industry watchers.

Opioid Epidemic’s ‘Secondary Victims’: Cases Of Children Being Hospitalized For Overdose Nearly Doubles

KHN Morning Briefing

“What was really striking to me is just how sick these kids are and that almost half of them end up in the ICU,” said Dr. Jason Kane, a lead author on the new study. Meanwhile, NPR takes a look at the paradox of heightened pain sensitivity with opioid use. And media outlets report on news of the crisis out of Tennessee, Connecticut, Florida, Oklahoma and New Hampshire.

Grassley Wades Into Hotly Contested 340B Drug Debate With Transparency Legislation

KHN Morning Briefing

The 340B program requires pharmaceutical companies to give steep discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve high volumes of low-income patients. Through Medicare, the federal government then reimburses the facilities for the drugs at a higher rate. A bill from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would require hospitals to disclose how much they pay for drugs under the program.