Latest Morning Briefing Stories
The therapies include risks and work for only a minority of patients. But those successes continue to drive the research forward.
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.
Public health officials warn about a repeat of last year when the virus killed 80,000 people, and they stress that side effects from the shot are mild. Other public health news focuses on the outcry over the first CRISPR babies; prescription heroin; new transplant rules; more raw beef recalls; and the rise of mosquito-born illnesses.
No decision has been made yet about federal funding for a University of California at San Francisco’s research laboratory, the Department of Health and Human Services says about a story yesterday from The Washington Post. The lab in question has been instrumental in testing virtually all HIV therapies subsequently approved by the Food and Drug Administration since the 1990s.
The retail pharmacy chain expects the deal to close before Thanksgiving. Also in the news, Eli Lilly reports strong third-quarter profits and Sanofi and Regeneron’s eczema cream receives positive feedback from the Food and Drug Administration.
Other pharmaceutical coverage includes reports about the high hopes for — and lack of supporting data about — skin cancer immunotherapy as well as a move by the American Medical Association to consider supporting the personal importation of medicines from Canada.
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.
Outlets report on a range of public health developments, including the latest on daylight savings time, therapy for pregnant women, dementia, CTE and the intersection of exercise and weight loss.
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.
Other veteran hospital news focuses on a “deteriorating” no-bid $10 billion contract for electronic records and controversial research on dogs and cats.