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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

With Purchase Of PillPack, Amazon Will Have Access To Shoppers’ Personal Health Data

KHN Morning Briefing

“Prescription drug information is highly personal information—it can tell if someone has cancer, if they have a sexually transmitted disease,” said Julie Roth, a health care regulatory attorney. Meanwhile, experts say the deal should act as a wake-up call to the rest of the industry that other companies need to step up their game on customer experience.

Amazon’s $1B Purchase Of PillPack Offers Another Hint At Company’s Ambitious Health Care Plans

KHN Morning Briefing

Amazon announced that it is buying PillPack, which sells pre-sorted packets of prescriptions drugs, delivering them to customers in their homes. The news seemed to be a confirmation of the worst fears of some in the industry — that Amazon is going to make an aggressive play for a chunk of the pharmacy business. But actually disrupting the health care industry will be a challenge.

As Pressure Mounts From All Sides, Purdue May Be Cutting Back On Marketing For Opioids

KHN Morning Briefing

In 2016, drugmakers spent $15.8 million to pay doctors for speaking, consulting, meals and travel related to opioid drugs. That was down 33 percent from $23.7 million in 2015 and is 21 percent less than the $19.9 million in spent in 2014. Meanwhile, federal regulators want internet companies to take a bigger role in fighting the epidemic.

Experts Emphasize Importance Of Incremental Improvements With New Flu Vaccine

KHN Morning Briefing

It was shown to be only slightly better than the old one. But baby steps are still forward movement, experts say. In other news on vaccinations: there’s a national shortage on the shingles vaccine; an experimental therapy for type 1 diabetes shows some early stages of success; and officials warn about hot spots for diseases where vaccination rates lag.

A Price Tag On Hope: As Pharma Companies Eye Right To Try, Profit Motives Overtake Any Expected Altruism

KHN Morning Briefing

“Companies cannot be NGOs,” Brainstorm CEO Chaim Lebovits said. “We have to have an incentive.” Health insurers don’t typically pay for treatments that haven’t been approved by regulators or proven to work in clinical trials. That means patients would have to pay for the therapies, which could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, out of their own pockets.