Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Drugmaker Actelion Agrees To Pay $360M To Settle Kickback Investigation

The Justice Department alleged that Actelion Pharmaceuticals violated federal law by using a foundation fund to funnel kickback payments aimed at inducing patients to buy its drugs. Actelion was bought by Johnson & Johnson in 2017, after the alleged actions took place, and admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement. And in other pharma news: Walgreens’ new delivery service; an EpiPen alternative; and the FDA approves a new lung cancer treatment.

Novartis Weighs $4 Million Price Tag For New Gene Therapy Drug

The drug would be used to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disorder whose most severe form is fatal for almost all patients before age 2. In other pharmaceutical news, drugmakers are eyeing changes in the congressional lame duck session to save them money on Medicare, Insys is considering selling off its opioid-related assets and federal inspectors find more problems at Akorn manufacturing plants.

FDA OKs Strong Opioid Pill 10 Times Stronger Than Fentanyl Despite Abuse Concerns

Health experts said the pill isn’t needed and will only worsen the opioid epidemic. The Food and Drug Administration endorsed Dsuvia, which can be applied once under the tongue and benefit soldiers on the battlefield where IVs can be impractical. Other news on opioids focuses on the FDA’s armed hunt for counterfeit drugs and the continued threat of fentanyl and heroin.