And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is very modest. We hope to catch up on our naps and our reading, and spend time with our shortest person. And what about you? The vacation season may have ended, but summer is still here, so perhaps this is a chance to enjoy the great outdoors once more. Conversely, you could shop for winter clothes. Or try to make sense of the latest presidential polls. Whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …
Ian Read, the Pfizer (PFE) chief executive, says that the Hillary Clinton proposals to contain the price of pharmaceuticals would be “very negative” for the industry and are a step toward single-payer health care, Bloomberg News tells us. “The Clinton approach to health care drives you to a one-payer system, and drives you to rationing, drives you to a place where most consumers don’t want to be,” he says. “In its totality it would be very negative for innovation.”
The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations has spent thousands of hours pursuing foreign-imported, mislabeled drugs. But more than half of all OCI cases end without charges, and critics contend agency efforts protect drug makers as much as consumers, Reuters reports. From fiscal 2008 to 2015, more than half of OCI cases — 53 percent — were closed without action.
Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, wants insurers and employers to initially cover a narrower range of drugs, such as Enbrel and Humira, that are used for inflammatory conditions. The goal is to force drug makers to compete on price to become one of the pre-approved options, the New York Times writes. The drugs account for nearly 10 percent of all drug spending in the US, although fewer than 1 percent of Americans use them.
A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of statins found that the benefits of the cholesterol pills have been underestimated and harms exaggerated, the Guardian reports, citing a new study in the Lancet. The findings appear three years after a controversy erupted in the UK about the extent to which the drugs are helpful or unnecessarily overprescribed. But CardioBrief says the debate is not over.
To satisfy regulators, Walgreens (WBA) will have to divest up to 1,000 stores to close its purchase of the Rite Aid chain, which is more than some Wall Street analysts expected.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence endorsed the use of Merck’s Zepatier for treating chronic hepatitis in adults with certain genotypes, PharmaTimes says.
The US Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Pan Drugs, an ingredients maker, for various violations, including data manipulation and unsanitary conditions, such as infestation by rodents, birds, and insects.