Drugmakers would provide free insulin under Minn. bill | Eisai pulls lorcaserin from market at FDA's request | Drug diversion, an opioid epidemic side effect
February 14, 2020
PCMA SmartBrief
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Legislative & Regulatory News
A bill that would require pharmaceutical firms to provide free insulin on both an emergency and ongoing basis to income-eligible Minnesota residents has been passed by a state Senate committee. Under the legislation, eligible patients would be required to pay a $75 copay to the pharmacy for a 30-day insulin supply.
Full Story: Minnesota Public Radio/KNOW-FM (2/13) 
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Eisai said it will comply with an FDA request to pull its weight-loss drug Belviq, or lorcaserin, and its extended-release formulation, Belviq XR, from the US market. The FDA issued the request after a postmarketing study found treatment was associated with increased incidence of lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (2/13) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
A survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that of 371 hospices, 31% reported at least one case in which drugs were taken from a patient in the past 90 days, most often by relatives or caregivers. Lead researcher John Cagle said the issue may be even more significant than the numbers show but expressed worry that any response to concerns about drug diversions could compromise patient access to needed medications.
Full Story: HealthDay News (2/11) 
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Amryt Pharma's lipodystrophy drug Myalept is the most expensive prescription drug in the US this year with a monthly list price of $71,306. Horizon Therapeutics' Ravicti was the second most expensive at $55,341 per month, and EMD Serono's Mavenclad, which has a monthly list price of $53,730, was third on the list.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (2/13) 
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Amgen has filed a patent infringement suit against Pfizer and its Hospira unit based on their proposed biosimilar of Amgen's Neulasta, or pegfilgrastim, which is used for reducing the rate of infection in patients undergoing myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Amgen alleges Hospira is infringing a patent related to methods of protein purification.
Full Story: JD Supra (2/13) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Presidents Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.
Rabindranath Tagore,
philosopher, poet, musician, artist, Nobel Prize winner
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PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 270 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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