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President Donald Trump’s long-anticipated speech on curbing drug prices focused on reducing inefficiencies in the current system, rather than taking swings at pharmaceutical companies. Trump had a few barbs for the industry, noting that “the drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of customers,” but the only proposal that specifically dealt with prescription drug pricing was a suggestion that a treatment’s cost be disclosed in its advertisements.
“The big takeaway is we need more research, plain and simple,” said Dr. Ilana Braun of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who led the study published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Native American tribes are among those the opioid epidemic has hit the hardest, though scant attention has been paid to how the crisis is ripping through their communities. At least 20 tribes have formally sued opioid manufacturers and distributors, with at least 10 more suits expected to be filed soon. In other news on the crisis: discarded syringes; staffing shortages’ effects on regulating opioids coming into the country; the impact of the epidemic on rural communities; and more.
Pharmaceutical companies traditionally have been restricted from distributing information about off-label uses to doctors, which they say is a violation of free speech. Critics, however, are worried that more freedom for the drugmakers could jeopardize patient safety.
More details are emerging over what the drug company paid to try to gain insight into President Donald Trump’s health strategy. CEO Vasant Narasimhan wrote to employees that he understood they felt “disappointed and frustrated.”
President Donald Trump is expected to focus on pharmacy benefit managers, foreign governments and generic drugs in his speech today. He’s reportedly backed away from a campaign talking point on allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Critics have been quick to point out that the proposals will do little to rock the pharma industry, which Trump once claimed was “getting away with murder.”
The lawsuit says that HIV patients suffered from as many as 10 years of “additional accumulated kidney and bone toxicity” while using the drug tenofovir as the company kept the less-toxic version on a shelf in its lab.
According to an insider, though, the pharmaceutical company was disappointed with what Michael Cohen could offer. Cohen’s business activities have been under investigation by both special counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
President Donald Trump is also expected to go after pharmacy benefit managers, saying PBMs profit from rebates paid by drug companies but do not share much of the savings with patients. The twice-delayed speech is now scheduled for Friday.
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing.
Valeant announced that it will change its name to Bausch Health Companies. “We think this name captures who we really are becoming,” said Chief Executive Joseph Papa. “We are much more than a pharmaceutical company.”
The 30 counties formed a coalition to develop their litigation strategy, which will likely be sent to an Ohio judge who is overseeing hundreds of other opioid lawsuits from across the country.
Drug distributors are being hauled in front of Congress to answer questions about their role in the opioid crisis. Advocates want the hearings to mark a tidal change in public opinion on the companies.
Drug price negotiation has been a longtime plank of the Democratic platform, but President Donald Trump made it his own talking point during his campaign and the early days of his tenure. Now, Democrats want to take it back. Meanwhile, CMS Administrator Seema Verma blasted pharmacy-benefit managers and the model Medicare uses to pay for drugs.
Many see race as a crucial factor in how Congress and health officials have focused on prevention and education rather than punishment. White victims make up almost 80 percent of the deaths from opioid overdoses, while, in contrast, in 2000, 84 percent of crack cocaine offenders were black. In other news on the crisis: a 25-year-old pill for nerve pain raises some red flags; the DEA issues an immediate suspension of opioid sales by a wholesale distributor; drug distributors head to Capitol Hill; and more.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb emphasized the need to cut hiring time when it comes to rank-and-file staff positions. At the annual meeting of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, Gottlieb also countered criticism of the agency’s “breakthrough” designation for certain drugs.
This week’s planned speech is expected to offer a “comprehensive strategy” that administration officials say will result in a “profound modernization” of how the government pays for some drugs. But the pharma industry is watching anxiously in case President Donald Trump goes off script.
Baltimore’s health department and a national advocacy group wrote to the Trump administration asking officials to take action. Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make New York City a pioneer in creating supervised safe injection sites.
There are very few treatments for the disease and a cure through gene-editing is years off. But Global Blood Therapeutics has created a drug that could offer hope to those with sickle cell.