Amazon.com Inc. said it will launch a discount prescription drug program, called RxPass, for Prime members, adding to the company’s growing health care business. Customers will pay a subscription fee of $5 per month to fill as many prescriptions as they need from a list of approximately 50 generic drugs, including amoxicillin and naproxen. (The Associated Press)
Johnson & Johnson forecast 2023 year-over-year sales growth of 3.5% to 4.5% behind strong demand for its pharmaceutical drugs. The health care giant reported pharmaceutical sales of $13.16 billion in the fourth quarter, slightly beating analyst expectations. (Reuters)
Health care lobbying groups spent tens of millions of dollars in the final months of 2022 as Congress debated policies like hospital payment rates, testing regulations and drug pricing, including almost $7 million from the American Hospital Association and $6.6 million from PhRMA in the fourth quarter. (Stat News) Meanwhile, pharmaceutical executives may soon be called to testify before Congress as Senate Democrats are likely to increase scrutiny of the industry’s top companies. (Bloomberg)
The World Health Organization is investigating manufacturers of cough medicines that have been connected to the deaths of more than 300 children in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. The WHO is looking into the raw materials used by six companies in India and Indonesia to produce the medicines and whether they used the same suppliers. (Reuters)
Worth watching today:
The Food and Drug Administration’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee meeting to review Cidara Therapeutics Inc.’s new drug application for its antifungal drug rezafungin for the treatment of candidemia and invasive candidiasis in adults.
Bipartisan Policy Center event: “Filling the Gaps in the Behavioral Health Workforce.” The event will review the center’s new report recommending federal policy changes to help meet the demand for behavioral health services.
Food and Drug Administration advisers will meet Thursday to discuss simplifying the Covid vaccination schedule, allowing most people to get the currently available booster, regardless of how many doses they had received before that.
The virus has not yet fully settled into a pattern of seasonality and may never. COVID spikes do tend to occur in winter, along with the flu, due to factors that drive both, like cold weather and increased indoor gatherings. But COVID waves can and do occur throughout the year, as new variants arise.
New York lawmakers are poised to pass an amendment on Tuesday to codify reproductive rights into the state’s Constitution and expand the list of protected classes, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
Montana officials are looking to tighten rules around medically necessary abortions for those who use Medicaid as their health insurance. Reproductive health advocates and Democratic lawmakers have said the move is part of a broader agenda to whittle away access to the procedure.
Oregon is launching a new abortion hotline offering free legal advice to callers, moving to further defend abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer and eliminated federal protections for the procedure.
CVS Health Corp. will name a new head for the company’s pharmacy services business and fill a new position, chief product officer for consumer businesses, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Cassandra Jaramillo et al., ProPublica and The Dallas Morning News
True the Vote, a group that spread discredited election conspiracy theories, “abandoned” The Freedom Hospital in April 2022, according to its lawyers. Yet board member Gregg Phillips continued to seek donations for the project for months afterward.
The organization is responding to what it says is an unprecedented 54 health emergencies around the world including 11 which it classifies as the highest Grade 3 level including the war in Ukraine; outbreaks of cholera and mpox in Democratic Republic of Congo and malnutrition in Somalia.
CEO turnover among the country’s leading health systems returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 though more of the industry’s executives now say they are feeling the strain of burnout, according to a pair of new reports.
UPMC is in the crosshairs of two Pennsylvania legislators following a critical report from anti-monopoly nonprofit group the American Economic Liberties Project that accused the system of rampant growth and “anti-competitive behaviors.”
In an unexpected move, the Food and Drug Administration will continue to apply exclusive marketing rights for so-called orphan drugs under its existing regulations, rather than take a broader approach suggested by a federal court in a highly controversial case involving one such medicine.
Are you a promising middle or late-career scientist with a desire to extend human lifespan, experience leading a large organization, and a fondness for naked mole rats? Calico, Google’s aging research spinout, could maybe use your resume.
If you thought that biopharma layoffs would stay a cruel fad of 2022, you would, unfortunately, be mistaken. Merck KGaA is the latest company to downsize, shrinking its U.S. research wing by more than 100 employees.
Pliant Therapeutics said Sunday that an experimental pill significantly improved lung function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, a deadly lung disease with few approved treatments.
A brutal year for biotech has private investors eyeing bets with less risk and more emphasis on single assets over drug discovery engines, but there’s plenty of optimism to go around in the opening weeks of 2023.
A number of tests used by patients to make major health care decisions have once again escaped regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, following intensive lobbying on behalf of test-makers, professional associations and academic medical centers.
Grail spent more than $1 million last quarter lobbying Congress, underscoring the urgency of the company’s bid to secure Medicare coverage for its pricey blood-based cancer screening test that has been on the market for over a year but is not widely used.
The mental health field is increasingly looking to chatbots to relieve escalating pressure on a limited pool of licensed therapists. But they’re entering uncharted ethical territory as they confront questions about how closely AI should be involved in such deeply sensitive support.
Making maternal care more accessible could in turn prevent dangerous complications that lead to expensive emergency treatment. Already, physicians say, they’ve seen significant reductions in hospitalizations in piloting the technologies. But inconsistent Medicaid coverage policies that vary by state — and a reluctance from insurers to pay for these technologies — means the patients who need these services the most can’t always get them.