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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Judge Overseeing Hundreds Of Lawsuits Against Opioid Makers Implores Sides To Work Together

KHN Morning Briefing

“What we’ve got to do is dramatically reduce the number of pills that are out there, and make sure that the pills that are out there are being used properly,” Judge Dan Polster said. In other opioid news: Native American tribes sue manufacturers over their role in the crisis, doctors start to shift from zero-pain goals for patients, officials in Philadelphia mull safe-injection sites, and more.

Pharma’s Concerns That Trump Will Do Something Radical To Cut Prices Have All But Evaporated

KHN Morning Briefing

The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the biggest annual investors event in biotechnology, is underway and the worries from last year haven’t exactly carried over into 2018. In other pharmaceutical news: an Alzheimer’s drug may have gotten its second wind; Celgene has agreed to buy cancer drugmaker Impact Biomedicines; and an executive facing sexual harassment allegations still hasn’t stepped down.

Democrats Go In Search Of Next ‘Big Idea’ On Health Care In Preparation For 2020

KHN Morning Briefing

Tired of playing defense and looking to capitalize on Republicans’ fumbles, Democrats are encouraging people in the party to think big, with ideas ranging from single-payer, government-run care for all, to new insurance options anchored in popular programs like Medicare or Medicaid. In other news from Capitol Hill: medical research legislation, entitlement overhaul, “right-to-try” bills, and CHIP funding.

While Cancer Deaths Are Decreasing, U.S.’s No. 2 Killer Still Remains Formidable Foe

KHN Morning Briefing

Experts credit a decline in tobacco use for the improved rates, along with breakthrough drugs that have improved the chance of surviving a diagnosis. In other public health news: the IV bag shortage linked to the hurricane in Puerto Rico may be over soon; a study finds that antioxidants don’t ease muscles after exercise; and more.

In Nation’s First Opioid Court, Goal Shifts From Punishing Defendants To Keeping Them Alive

KHN Morning Briefing

Participants in the court, which recognizes failure as part of the process and not something that should be punished, are required to appear daily before Judge Craig D. Hannah. Court systems around the country are watching the Buffalo, N.Y., initiative as a potential model. Media outlets report on news from the drug crisis out of California and Tennessee as well.

Having Buyer’s Remorse Over Medicare Advantage Plan? You Can Still Switch Back

KHN Morning Briefing

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which is open until Feb. 14, allows people enrolled in an Advantage plan for 2018 to switch to original Medicare. Meanwhile, in other Medicare news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will start reviewing Advantage networks on three-year cycles.

Allergan To Slash Jobs In Preparation Of Generic Competition For Top-Selling Drugs

KHN Morning Briefing

The biggest generic threat to Allergan is to its eye treatment drug Restasis. The company has taken various steps to shield Restasis from competition, notably selling its patents to an Indian tribe in New York state to avoid a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hearing on the validity of the drug’s patents.

HHS Nominee’s Senate Hearing Set For Next Week

KHN Morning Briefing

Alex Azar, who has been tapped to replace former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, has been criticized for his close ties to the pharmaceutical industry.