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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Bulk Of People Who Use Heroin Are Functioning Addicts. Here’s A Look At Their Lives

KHN Morning Briefing

CNN talks to people addicted to heroin who are still holding down jobs, paying bills and fooling their families. In other news on the national drug crisis: Ohio sues four major opioid distributors; the judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits against drug companies wants the DEA to release painkiller data; a look at how much the epidemic has cost New York City; and more.

Disaster-Response Preparedness Bill Could Hold Lots Of Goodies For Pharma

KHN Morning Briefing

The Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act is up for renewal this year, and drugmakers are already lining up with their hands out. In other pharmaceutical news: a judge rules that Martin Shkreli can be held responsible for $10.4 million in losses related to his tenure at Turing Pharmaceuticals; an analysis finds oversight of compounding pharmacies improved; and a tweet sends one biotech company’s stocks soaring.

A Month On The Job And HHS Secretary Is Already Lowering Drug Prices, According To Trump

KHN Morning Briefing

HHS Secretary Alex Azar is “setting the world on fire,” President Donald Trump said. Although Azar has signaled that drug prices are a priority, he’s not yet taken dramatic action on the subject. Meanwhile, an Illinois state lawmaker has introduced legislation intended to stop price-gouging on generic drugs.

House Lawmakers To Begin Big Push On Tackling Opioid Crisis With Hearings Starting Next Week

KHN Morning Briefing

The policies that lawmakers will examine include updating scheduling guidelines to help clamp down on synthetic opioids, letting hospice workers dispose of unused drugs, expanding access to behavioral health telemedicine in rural areas, and more. Meanwhile, a news study finds some states simply don’t have enough doctors to properly address the epidemic.

Could This Century-Old Law Be Used To Curb Drug Prices? Democrats Think So

KHN Morning Briefing

The law could allow HHS to use a patented invention — in this case hep C drugs — and the drugmaker wouldn’t be able to do anything about it other than to demand “reasonable” compensation. Democrats want HHS to take this step in hopes that a lower-cost generic could be manufactured. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Alex Azar says the administration is exploring more actions on cutting high drug costs.

Is Alzheimer’s A Glitch Of Our Brain’s Ancient Immune System?

KHN Morning Briefing

Connecting Alzheimer’s and the immune system was a radical idea at first but these scientists pushed on. In other news, FDA has opened the doors to drugs that would treat people who have biomarkers of a disease but aren’t yet showing symptoms.