Sat.Jul 06, 2024 - Fri.Jul 12, 2024

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FTC Report Acknowledges Impact Pharmacy Benefit Managers Have on Cost, Accessibility of Prescription Drugs

Pharmacy Times

In a new report, the FTC says pharmacy benefit managers act as middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry, leading to the squeezing of independent pharmacies and increases in prices for patients.

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Semaglutide Use Increases Risk of Optic Neuropathy

Drug Topics

Researchers addressed the association between semaglutide use and the risk of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

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Opinion: Doctors ‘overprescribing’ opioids isn’t the cause of the overdose epidemic — and it never was

STAT

A key part of the federal government’s narrative about the epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S. has been that it is driven by doctors and other clinicians overprescribing opioid painkillers. That story line is false — and was never true. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has traditionally relied on death certificate data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics for its data on overdose deaths, organized as Underlying Cause of Death data us

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Lilly's Mounjao triggers more weight loss than Novo Nordisk's Ozempic: study

Fierce Pharma

Is Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro or Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic more effective in helping patients lose weight? | Is Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro or Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic more effective in helping patients lose weight? While a head-to-head trial pitting the two treatments remains ongoing, new evidence shows that Lilly’s tirzepatide may be the superior weight loss product.

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Position Your Pharmacy for Expansion

Speaker: Chris Antypas and Josh Halladay

Access to limited distribution drugs and payer contracts are key to pharmacy expansion. But how do you prepare your operations to take the next step? Meaningful data: Collect and share clinical data regarding outcomes, utilization, and more Reporting: Limited distribution models require efficient tracking and reporting systems Workflows: Align workflows with specific pharma and payer contractual requirements For in-depth, expert insights on pharmacy expansion, watch this webinar from Inovalon.

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Scathing FTC Interim Report on PBMs Warrants Further Investigations, Immediate Action by Policymakers and Regulators

Pharmacy Times

Investigation confirms massive middlemen employ tactics like steering, inflated costs, low reimbursements, harmful contractual terms, etc, that hurt patients and independent pharmacies.

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Q&A: How an Army Veteran Began His Journey to Overcoming PTSD

Drug Topics

“They may not understand. But I tell people, ‘I don't want you to understand me.’ I don't understand me. But if you can relate to me, then that furthers our conversation—the relatedness,” said Farron Dozier on his experience with PTSD.

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Digital health funding hit $5.7B through June, on track to surpass 2019 and 2023, Rock Health reports

Fierce Healthcare

U.S. digital health startups pulled in $5.7 billion across 266 deals in the first six months of 2024, marking continued momentum in the sector after a rocky few quarters last year. | U.S. digital health startups pulled in $5.7 billion across 266 deals in the first six months of 2024, marking continued momentum in the sector after a rocky few quarters last year.

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With Boehringer ruling, industry extends legal losing streak against Medicare price negotiations

Fierce Pharma

As the process surrounding Medicare's drug price negotiations rolls on this summer—and as the pharmaceutical industry continues to loudly voice its complaints—another lawsuit contesting the legal v | Boehringer Ingelheim joins AstraZeneca, J&J and Bristol Myers Squibb in having a case challenging Medicare price negotiations fail to bear fruit.

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SGLT2i, GLP-1RA Combination Therapy Offers Robust Protection Against Cardiovascular, Kidney Disease

Drug Topics

When used together, sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2is) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) were able to lower the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events and kidney disease by 11% and 33%, respectively.

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Opinion: Preparing schools for the H5N1 bird flu they’re likely to face

STAT

As Covid-19 swept across the United States, schools were among the most highly affected public spaces. To prepare for a potential H5N1 avian influenza jump to humans, schools need to be preparing for the scenario now before a sustained transmission event occurs. The response to Covid-19, which first appeared in the U.S. in early 2020, has been scrutinized by numerous case studies, after-action reports , and Congressional fact-finding hearings.

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What the FDA's New Dosage Guidance Means for the Future of Clinical Research

Speaker: Dr. Ben Locwin - Biopharmaceutical Executive & Healthcare Futurist

What will the future hold for clinical research? A recent draft from the FDA provides valuable insight. In "Optimizing the Dosage of Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products for the Treatment of Oncologic Diseases," the FDA notes that "targeted therapies demonstrate different dose-response relationships compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, such that doses below the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) may have similar efficacy to the MTD but with fewer toxicities.

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OpenAI Startup Fund, Arianna Huffington back new AI health coach venture focused on chronic conditions

Fierce Healthcare

OpenAI's venture fund and Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global are backing a new startup, Thrive AI Health, that aims to build an AI health coach to promote healthier lifestyles. | OpenAI's venture fund and Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global are backing a new startup that aims to build an AI health coach to promote healthier lifestyles.

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Merck puts 1,000-plus Zostavax lawsuits to bed after plaintiffs file for dismissal

Fierce Pharma

After a drawn-out litigation process, Merck & Co. seems to have finally washed its hands of more than a thousand lawsuits tied to its shingles vaccine Zostavax. | A U.S. appeals court has tossed a request to resurrect certain lawsuits claiming Merck’s popular shot Zostavax caused patients to develop shingles. The court made its decision after the plaintiffs filed a voluntary dismissal some two years after logging a loss in Pennsylvania.

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Stigmatization Plays Key Role in the Mental Health of Children with Skin Disease

Drug Topics

Researchers aimed to address the extent of stigmatization’s effect on the mental health of adolescents with chronic skin disorders.

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Researchers identify ‘molecular switch’ in lupus that could stymie harmful immune response

STAT

Lupus, in superhero terms, tells a devastating story. A loyal hero turns villain and works to destroy his own people. But new research asks the question: What if immune cells could be turned back into good guys, and actually help save tissue damaged by autoimmune disease?  Lupus is complicated because it wields the body’s own defenses against itself, generating a continuous immune misfire.

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5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Pharmacy Management Software

Are you still using workarounds to manage your daily operations? To achieve peak performance, it's time to explore other options for specialty and infusion pharmacy software. Streamline pharmacy operations and improve clinical performance with automated processing, real-time data exchange, and electronic decision support. Download this helpful infographic to: Drive efficiency and patient adherence from referral receipt to delivery and ongoing care – all with our Pharmacy Cloud.

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FTC: PBMs may ‘urgently’ require ‘potential regulation’

Fierce Healthcare

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have vast power and scale that disadvantages consumers and independent pharmacies, a new report from the Federal Trade Commission argues. | The FTC turned its attention toward pharmacy benefit managers in a new report detailing the consequences of consolidation and vertical integration, warning legal action and regulation could follow.

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Move over, oncology: Obesity, diabetes meds will take over 2030's top drug rankings, Evaluate forecasts

Fierce Pharma

It’s well known that obesity drugs from Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are on a high-flying growth trajectory that doesn’t look to be letting up anytime soon. | Novo Nordisk's Ozempic is slated to take over No.1, while Merck's Keytruda falls to No.9 on Evaluate's predicted rankings of top drugs by 2030 sales.

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Q&A: US Army Veteran Discusses His Experience with PTSD

Drug Topics

A former sergeant first class in the US Army discussed PTSD in an exclusive interview with Drug Topics.

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The untold story of the Human Genome Project: How one man’s DNA became a pillar of genetics

STAT

STAT is co-publishing this investigation by Undark. They numbered 20 in all — 10 men and 10 women who came to a sprawling medical campus in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., to volunteer for what a news report had billed as “the world’s biggest science project.

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Healthcare industry rails against CISA's 'redundant' and 'burdensome' cyber incident reporting proposal

Fierce Healthcare

Healthcare industry groups are urging the federal government to streamline and loosen a recent proposed rule outlining cybersecurity incident reporting requirements for entities considered to be cr | Hospitals, practices, information management executives and even insurers criticized a proposed rule for its overlap with other federal reporting requirements and limited oversight of smaller third-parties, among other concerns.

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Study Connects Multivitamin Use With Mortality Risk

Pharmacy Times

Daily multivitamin users were associated with a 4% higher mortality risk compared to nonusers.

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Phase 1/2 Trial of Investigational Herpes Zoster Vaccine Candidate Underway

Drug Topics

Researchers are evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of shingles vaccine candidate Z-1018.

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STAT+: FTC report finds PBMs profit at the expense of patients and independent pharmacies

STAT

In stark terms, the Federal Trade Commission found in a report released Tuesday that pharmacy benefit managers — the opaque middlemen in the pharmaceutical supply chain — wield such “enormous power” that these companies can affect the ability of many Americans to access and afford their medicines. The agency noted that the three largest PBMs processed nearly 80% of the roughly 6.6 billion prescriptions dispensed by U.S. pharmacies in 2023.

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Pandemic policies have fewer adults skipping medical care due to cost

Fierce Healthcare

Nearly 5 million fewer people delayed care from 2019 to 2022, a study from the Urban Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed. | Pandemic-era policies appear to have helped almost 5 million people access necessary medical care that they otherwise may not have been able to, a recent report shows.

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J&J's tuberculosis med Sirturo lands full US, EU approvals after more than a decade on the market

Fierce Pharma

It took many years, but Johnson & Johnson’s tuberculosis med Sirturo can finally claim full approvals in the U.S. and Europe following initial conditional nods. | The traditional approvals follow initial accelerated approvals granted by the FDA in 2012 and the European Commission in 2014.

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Maternal RSV Vaccination Not Associated With Increased Preterm Birth Risk

Drug Topics

Current recommendations suggest women receive the RSV vaccine between 32 and 36 weeks' gestational age.

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STAT+: FTC plans to sue PBMs over the high cost of insulin and other medicines

STAT

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission plans to sue the three largest pharmacy benefit managers over their negotiating tactics for various medicines, including insulin, that pushed patients toward higher-priced treatments, according to a source familiar with the matter. The step comes after the agency this week released a scathing report that found the three largest PBMs — Express Scripts, Caremark, and OptumRx — processed nearly 80% of the roughly 6.6 billion prescriptions that were di

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HHS announces $27.5M in funding to address women's behavioral health needs

Fierce Healthcare

A variety of government and healthcare organizations are now eligible to tap into newly announced funding by the Department of Health and Human Services. | The funding will support community-based maternal behavioral health services and a women’s behavioral health technical assistance center.

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Slow-Release, Oral Ketamine Tablet May Reduces Severity of Treatment-Resistant Depression

Pharmacy Times

The authors note that the oral, at-home treatment can a better alternative for patients by reducing inconveniences that come with the injectable and nasal administration methods.

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15-Minute Saliva Test Aims to Close Tetanus Vaccination Gap

Drug Topics

Global coverage for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis has reached its lowest point in 15 years.

Vaccines 112
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STAT+: A faster, simpler, cheaper cancer cell therapy is about to be tested in humans

STAT

In a long-awaited study, patients in Australia will soon receive an IV infusion designed to transform their own immune cells into swarms of cancer-fighting drones. The trial, announced on Tuesday by Interius Biotherapeutics, will be the first to test what’s known technically as in vivo CAR-T therapy. Researchers have long hoped the approach could provide a potentially cheaper, safer, and more scalable version of the cell therapies that are curative for some blood cancer patients but remai

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Telemental health visits decline when cost-sharing returns, new study finds

Fierce Healthcare

In a study published in JAMA Network Open on Tuesday, Included Health and Harvard Medical School found that patients in high deductible health plans are less likely to seek virtual behavioral healt | A study by Included Health and Harvard Medical School found that when cost-sharing is reintroduced for telehealth visits for patients in high-deductible health plans, patients will use fewer services.

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FTC said to be planning legal action against PBMs

pharmaphorum

The FTC is said to be gearing up to file lawsuits against the top three pharmacy benefit managers in the wake of its damning report on the sector.

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Novo's Ozempic, Wegovy linked to potential eye problem? Not so fast, analysts say

Fierce Pharma

Novo Nordisk’s massively successful GLP-1 analog semaglutide, the active ingredient in the popular diabetes and obesity meds Ozempic and Wegovy, may be linked to a vision loss disorder, a new | Novo Nordisk’s popular GLP-1 analog semaglutide may be linked to a vision loss disorder, a study suggests. But one team of analysts cautioned against reading too much into the analysis.

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Opinion: EcoHealth Alliance: Covid’s anti-science mob extracting its pound of flesh

STAT

Imagine this post-9/11 scenario: A New York City fire company is forced to shut down and lay off its firefighters because some Americans believe a bizarre conspiracy theory that this fire company brought down the World Trade Center towers. A Covid-19 version of this freakish tale is happening today. Instead of a fire company, the conspiracy gang is targeting an important, successful, decades-old nonprofit organization that researches viral epidemics and tries to predict and forestall future 

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