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In an effort to make it easier for physicians to access information on increasingly targeted treatments, the FDA will soon make clinical endpoints of drug treatments available online, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. Those endpoints, he said, which will include drugs evaluated outside of the…
About 38,000 people died from firearms in 2016; that’s more than the amount of people who died in car accidents. Should doctors routinely ask patients if they own guns? “No,” says Paul Hsieh, MD, a physician and co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine. “Yes,” says Megan L.…
Adding fuel to an already raging debate about right-to-try drugs, a company called Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics is developing an experimental drug for terminal patients who have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and that drug won’t be cheap. The new drug is called NurOwn. The…
It seems as if reports of the ACA’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Wall Street Journal reports today that after years of pulling out of the Obamacare marketplaces, health insurance plans have started to re-enter. That’s in part because the health plans are starting to make money because…
Atul Gawande is a splashy choice to head up the Amazon–Berkshire Hathaway–JP Morgan Chase health care initiative. Stat called the 52-year-old surgeon, Harvard professor, and prolific New Yorker staff writer an “all-around health care celebrity.” Gawande is royalty in Boston’s high-powered…
Small employers can more effectively ban together to buy health insurance under rules unveiled yesterday by the Trump administration that loosens restrictions on association health plans (AHPs). That means that small companies can now buy insurance in the same market as larger companies. “This reform…
The FDA has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), or who have relapsed after two or more prior lines of therapy. The indication is approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval regulations…
The FDA has approved the first generic versions of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone, Indivior PLC) sublingual film for the treatment of opioid dependence. “The FDA is taking new steps to advance the development of improved treatments for opioid use disorder and to make sure these medicines are…
When terminally ill Americans receive experimental medicines through so-called “compassionate use” programs, they typically only get these drugs after extensive tests for safety and effectiveness, a recent study suggests. “This means that sufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness has been…
The Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) and the World Health Organization Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) have announced that the FDA has approved moxidectin 8 mg oral for the treatment of river blindness (onchocerciasis) in patients 12 years of age and…
Valeant Pharmaceuticals' plans to grow its dermatology business hit a snag this week, when the specialty drug-maker disclosed that the FDA had declined to approve an experimental psoriasis treatment key to the unit's turnaround, according to a BioPharma Divereport.  The regulator issued a complete…
The Trump administration is expected to reveal what it has in store for association health plans today. The plans are aimed at small businesses and people who buy their own insurance. As the Associated Press reports, the new model association health plans will still have to cover people with pre-existing…
An editorial in the Columbus Dispatch of Ohio takes off the gloves when it comes to how PBMs do business. The editorial is a companion to investigative reporting by the newspaper concerning how CVS Caremark goes about its business saying that “for its middleman role in Ohio’s taxpayer-funded Medicaid…
Well, somebody has to pay. In April, Anthem began paying the manufacturers of breast pumps less for the devices, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper cites one of the manufacturers as saying that the insurer decided to pay 36% less, from $150 to $95 per device. The move represents one…
Eric H. Schultz, the president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim for the past eight years, resigned today for behavior that he described in his resignation letter as “inconsistent with my personal core values and the company’s core values.” Full text of the letter is pasted in below. Boston media outlets…

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