Teva pays $135M to settle Medicaid fraud accusations in Ill. | House committee kicks off drug-pricing investigation | FDA stretches resources during shutdown to protect public health
January 17, 2019
Aon Life Sciences Advisor
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Teva pays $135M to settle Medicaid fraud accusations in Ill.
Teva pays $135M to settle Medicaid fraud accusations in Ill.
(Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has agreed to pay $135 million to the state of Illinois to resolve a lawsuit accusing the Israeli drugmaker and 46 other pharmaceutical firms of defrauding the state's Medicaid program by inflating wholesale prescription drug prices. Teva denies the allegations and said it only agreed to a settlement to prevent continuing litigation.
Globes (Israel) (1/13) 
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House committee kicks off drug-pricing investigation
House committee kicks off drug-pricing investigation
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent letters to a dozen drugmakers requesting detailed information about their pricing practices as part of an investigation into high prescription drug prices. The request focused on drugs that are especially costly to Medicare Part D and those with the largest five-year price increases.
CNBC (1/14),  Reuters (1/14) 
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FDA stretches resources during shutdown to protect public health
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency has shifted funds to salaries and deferred internal operating charges so agency staff can continue activities necessary to identify and respond to threats to human safety during the partial government shutdown. The agency can continue ongoing product reviews until user fee funds are expended, Gottlieb said.
Regulatory Focus (1/14),  FiercePharma (1/16) 
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Other News
Liability and Safety
FDA warns about risks linked to fluoroquinolone use
A drug safety alert from the FDA said use of oral or injected fluoroquinolone antibiotics may increase the risk of ruptures or tears in the aorta. The drugs should not be used in patients at high risk unless other treatments are not available.
AAFP News (1/9) 
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Business and Market Trends
Study shows Rx drug prices rising faster than rate of inflation
Study shows Rx drug prices rising faster than rate of inflation
Prescription drug prices are increasing faster than US inflation rates, a study in Health Affairs found, and the trend is forcing some patients, such as those with type 1 diabetes who depend on insulin, to ration their medication. Researchers analyzed national drug codes from 2008 to 2016 and found the price of specialty drugs rose 13 times faster than inflation each year, prices for oral brand-name drugs increased five times faster than inflation and generic oral drugs saw the smallest price hikes at 4.4% each year, still twice the rate of inflation.
ABC News (1/13) 
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Government and Regulatory
Health Care and Policy
FDA announces initiatives for cell, gene therapy development
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Tuesday plans related to the agency's push to improve oversight of cell and gene therapies considering the 800 active investigational new drug applications and the more than 200 expected each year by 2020. Initiatives include boosting administrative staff with the addition of 50 clinical reviewers and new guidance on regenerative medicine advanced therapy designations, development of products such as gene therapies for hematologic disorders, and development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies.
Seeking Alpha (1/15),  BioCentury (1/15) 
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Company and Financial News
Biotech firm raises $85M to move drug candidates to clinical trials
A Series B financing round yielded $85 million for Black Diamond Therapeutics, which it plans to use to support up to three of five drug candidates for human clinical trials, to develop drug technology and to establish a new corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Black Diamond owns technology that can locate oncogenes and reveal how they are activated, which it says will prove helpful in developing complementary drug therapies.
Xconomy/Boston (1/10) 
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News from Aon
Report: "2019 Global Medical Trend Rates"
Aon is pleased to present the results of its 2019 survey of average medical trend rates from countries around the world. The survey was conducted among Aon offices in 103 countries that broker, administer or otherwise advise on employer-sponsored medical plans in each of the countries covered in this report. The survey responses reflect the medical trend expectations of the Aon professionals, clients and carriers represented in the portfolio of Aon medical plan business in each country. Download report.
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Clear for Takeoff? Protecting Key Infrastructure From Flood Risk
Major storms, including accompanying winds and floods, threaten lives, destroy property and damage critical infrastructure. Power outages, broken communication lines and disruption to road, rail, sea and air transport are common in the aftermath of major storms, affecting both business and everyday life. Airports are a critical part of our modern infrastructure, essential to linking people and businesses around the world. Building long-term defenses against perils such as storm surges and flooding is becoming essential to future resilience. Is our infrastructure ready for extreme weather? Read more.
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About Aon Life Sciences Practice
Aon provides Life Sciences companies with end-to-end risk solutions, supporting organizations from the initial discovery phase to final product launch. The practice provides solutions across the Life Sciences for pharmaceutical manufacturers; generic and OTC pharmaceutical companies; biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies; genomic and proteomic companies; drug delivery system; diagnostic substance companies; and medical device and equipment manufacturers.

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