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Pharmalittle: Advances in treating the sickest Covid patients have stalled; Moderna aids WHO effort to develop mRNA coronavirus shots

Advances in treating the sickest Covid patients have stalled, with no decisively effective therapies for the hospitalized emerging since February 2021.

Patients for Affordable Drugs taps new leader

One of Washington’s most prominent drug pricing patient advocacy groups, Patients for Affordable Drugs, is tapping an advocate who has fought for access to medicines for nearly two decades as its new leader.

Cancer patient who devoted six years to drug pricing reform isn’t done yet

David Mitchell has filled an important void as a politically savvy patient advocate who was well-funded but didn’t take a penny from the pharmaceutical industry.

In a massive victory for Democrats, Medicare is poised to negotiate drug prices

After a major vote Sunday, President Biden is on the verge of his own crowning health care achievement to call, in his words, a BFD.

‘What can we do?’: Pharma lobbyists face their biggest test in a decade, as Democrats barrel toward a vote on drug pricing

Pharma’s lobbyists are staring down their biggest test yet, as Democrats barrel toward a vote on drug pricing reform.

New Senate proposal to lower insulin prices would let drugmakers lock in their current profits

A new proposal that senators claim would fix insulin pricing would actually allow drugmakers to lock in their current profits from the medicine.

Would drugmakers lower their insulin prices if Congress asks nicely?

Two senators are workshopping a new idea to slash insulin costs: dangling incentives to convince drugmakers to lower prices of their own free will. But will it actually help many people?

Is the Senate gearing up to actually pass drug pricing legislation?

A bill from Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock that would cap insulin copays at $35 per month got a rare shoutout from Senate leadership.

Medical misinformation often isn’t outright lies. It’s more subtle than that

The most powerful forms of deception rely more on emotional manipulation and misdirection than outright lies.

David Mitchell

“Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them,” says David Mitchell. He came to this view the hard way. Diagnosed in 2010 with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, Mitchell is kept alive by a series of drugs that currently cost more than $900,000 a year. Now, through his advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs,…

Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

From new hires to departures, promotions, and transfers, here are the latest comings and goings in the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug makers ring in the new year with 5% price hikes on hundreds of medicines

As 2022 gets under way, pharmaceutical companies have so far raised wholesale prices by a median of 4.9% on more than 450 prescription medicines, according to a new analysis.

Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

From new hires to departures, promotions and transfers, here are the latest comings and goings in the pharmaceutical industry.

‘A solid black eye’: Drug pricing reform advocates scramble to reset after setback in Congress

For the cadre of progressive groups fighting to bring down drug prices in a big way, this week was a massive setback. Now they’re scrambling to fight back.

House moderates rebel against Pelosi drug pricing plan, leaving bill’s fate uncertain

Three House moderates rebel against Pelosi drug pricing plan, leaving the bill's fate uncertain.

Senate considers pegging Medicare drug prices to deeply discounted Veterans Affairs rates

Senate lawmakers are actively considering pegging what Medicare pays for drugs to the prices drug makers offer other government programs like the nation's veterans health program, according to an internal slide deck obtained by STAT.

Is the Alzheimer’s Association really pushing Biogen to lower its new drug’s price — or is it lip service?

Pharma’s fiercest critics celebrated the Alzheimer’s Association’s bold rebuke of Biogen’s drug price decision. But some are calling it a “box-checking exercise.” 

Despite its high price tag, the new Alzheimer’s drug isn’t reigniting the drug pricing debate

When Biogen announced Monday it would charge $56,000 for an annual course of its new Alzheimer’s drug, the activists who normally jump to criticize pharma’s pricing strategies were largely silent.

Pharma showers Menendez with rare, off-cycle burst of campaign cash as Democrats eye drug pricing reforms 

Sen. Bob Menendez isn’t up for reelection until 2024, but pharma execs are flooding his campaign with cash — a sign of the central role he’ll play on drug pricing reform. 

Drug pricing déjà vu: Now it’s Democrats struggling to unite on the issue 

Democrats have gone public in a messy bid to hold the White House to its promise to push for drug pricing reform, signaling the party hasn’t yet achieved the unity it needs to take on the pharmaceutical industry.

Democrats have their best shot yet at letting Medicare negotiate drug prices — but it’s still not a done deal

Democrats have pledged for over a decade to let Medicare negotiate drug prices. Now they control the House and Senate — but it’s still easier said than done. 

Pharma rings in the new year with 5% price hikes on hundreds of medicines

A new analysis finds the the median wholesale prices for more than 600 brand-name drugs increased nearly 5% this month.

3 pharma trends to watch in 2021

In the coming year, the pharmaceutical industry will have to contend with unprecedented pressure to ensure global access to Covid-19 drugs and vaccines.

Drug industry CEOs will testify this week about some of pharma’s most controversial medicines

Six pharma CEOs are set to testify this week about drug pricing. Here's a look at six of the most controversial medicines that lawmakers are likely to ask them about.

Trump tries to convince voters he’s lowered drug prices, based only on a modest tweak to Medicare

President Trump used a glitzy Rose Garden address to try to convince seniors he’d lowered drug prices. But the news he was touting was modest at best.

Less than a movie ticket or ‘impossible to overpay’? Experts name their price for remdesivir

How much should Gilead actually charge for remdesivir? STAT asked leading thinkers on drug pricing to name a fair price.

Biotech’s new chief lobbyist says she’s a social justice advocate. Will the industry walk the walk?

Michelle McMurry-Heath, the new head of BIO, says science is the social justice issue of our age. Will the industry she’s about to represent walk the walk? And will lawmakers listen?

They did what? Celgene backs out of a $55 million deal to settle claims of thwarting generics

Lawyers for patient advocate David Mitchell and pension funds were astonished that Celgene backed out of the deal.

Washington took a decade to approve an obscure drug-pricing bill. That’s a bad omen for more ambitious reforms

The saga of the CREATES Act shows that passing drug pricing legislation is almost comically difficult in Washington — even when the bill is staggeringly bipartisan and unopposed.