Analysts Expect Medicare To Press Industry For Steep Drug Price Cuts
The Medicare program's first ever price negotiations are set to begin, with experts expecting pressure for deep cuts on 10 high-cost medicines. Meanwhile, in Europe regulators are promoting their successes in regulating big pharma.
Pharma Price Cut Proposals From US Government Could Be Steep, Analysts Say
Pharmaceutical companies are due to receive by Thursday the U.S. government's opening proposal for what are expected to be significant discounts on 10 of its high-cost medicines, an important step in the Medicare health program's first ever price negotiations. Five Wall Street analysts and two investors told Reuters they expect the negotiations over prices that will go into effect in 2026 to result in cuts ranging from the statutory minimum of 25% to as much as 60% when the final numbers are set in September. (Erman, 1/29)
European Regulators Tout Their Accomplishments Against Pharma
European antitrust regulators want you to know that fighting crime in the pharmaceutical industry pays. Between 2018 and 2022, the European Commission and antitrust regulators in numerous European countries adopted 26 decisions concerning anti-competitive practices by drug companies by imposing more than $845 million in fines or accepting legally binding commitments by manufacturers to alter their corporate behaviors. All totaled, there were 70 investigations, and 30 remain ongoing, according to a new report. (Silverman, 1/29)
On pharmaceutical mix-ups and shortages —
ADHD Medication Recalled Because Bottles May Contain Completely Different Drug
Azurity Pharmaceuticals is recalling some of its ADHD and narcolepsy medication because packages of the drug may contain the wrong pills. The drug maker said in a recent recall notice that it is calling back one lot of Zanzedi 30 mg with lot number F230169A and an expiration date of June 2025. The product is being pulled from shelves after a pharmacist found an antihistamine called carbinoxamine maleate in a package of Zanzedi, the company said. The two medications have opposite effects. (Napolitano, 1/29)
Rise In Reports Of Fake Weight-Loss Drugs Linked To Shortage Of Real Thing, WHO Says
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned that global shortages last year of popular diabetes medicines that are also used for weight loss, such as Novo Nordisk's Ozempic, had been linked to rising reports of suspected counterfeits. The organization said fake versions of the drugs, which belong to a class called GLP-1 agonists, are most often sold and distributed through unregulated outlets, including social media platforms, and carry serious health risks. (Wingrove, 1/29)
Wegovy Leads To Weight Loss. Can It Treat Depression, Too?
Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy — already game changers for diabetes and obesity — are being studied to treat an entirely different growing health problem: mental health illnesses, including depression and bipolar disorder. (Chen, 1/30)
Woodcock On FDA’s Accelerated Approval And Her Next Chapter
It’s the end of an era for the Food and Drug Administration’s longtime drug chief, but she’s drawn the battle plans for the agency’s next chapter. Janet Woodcock joined the FDA’s biologics division in 1986 but soon moved to the drug side, where over nearly three decades, she oversaw hundreds of reviews, new and evolving classes of therapies and several clashes with Congress and patient advocates. (Owermohle, 1/30)