Hello, everyone, and how are you this morning? We are doing just fine, thank you. A bright and shiny sun is enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where two of the short people are sleeping in, as are the official mascots. As for us, we are foraging, as usual, for interesting items and quaffing cups of stimulation. The neurons need the help. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits for you. Hope you have a smashing day and do stay in touch …
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, a nonprofit, has teamed with Egypt’s Pharco Pharmaceuticals to develop a combination treatment of two hepatitis C tablets — ravidasvir and sofosbuvir — and sell it for less than $300 to countries that cannot afford to pay high prices. Studies will be run in Malaysia and Thailand, and the treatment is expected to be available in Egypt within the next year.
More than five dozen nonprofit groups and medical experts are calling on health officials to phase out hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage pain, the Associated Press writes. They wrote a letter Wednesday to the Joint Commission, a nonprofit government agency that accredits US hospitals, asking it to revisit standards for pain management. They argue that the existing system encourages overprescribing of addictive medications.
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals agreed to provide a $6 rebate for every dose of its naloxone drug purchased by Connecticut. The move comes after several states have pressured the drug maker to provide discounts following steep price hikes for the medicine, which is an antidote used by police departments and other agencies to treat life-threatening instances of heroin overdose.
Medtronic reported approximately 1,000 adverse events associated with its Infuse bone-fusion product to the US Food and Drug Administration more than five years late, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Moreover, the agency failed to raise any issues, while also blacking out the total number of events from a brief public summary. The FDA released the data last fall only after the paper filed requests with the agency.
Californians will vote in November on a measure called the California Drug Price Relief Act, but whether it will lower drug prices is uncertain, writes CALMatters. The measure would restrict state health programs from paying more for prescription drugs than what is paid by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which is widely cited as paying the lowest prices in the nation.
The FDA granted a priority review for Merck’s Keytruda treatment for certain patients with head and neck cancer, its third potential indication in the country, Pharma Times says.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals debt was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s after a creditor said it would declare the drug maker in technical default for missing a March 15 filing deadline for its annual report, Barron’s writes.
Pfizer moved closer to winning $2.9 million in tax breaks in a Massachusetts town where it wants to build a 175,000-square-foot, five-story manufacturing facility, the Andover Townsman reports.
Trade secret laws adopted by the European Parliament would mean employees who raise concerns about drug safety and efficacy face legal uncertainty, InPharma Technologist tells us.