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Ohio prosecutors file charges against opioid distributor Miami-Luken

Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Oceana%2C_West_Virginia.jpg

Federal prosecutors in Cincinnati have filed criminal charges against opioid distributor Miami-Luken, and four others, over the role they played in the opioid crisis in the United States.

Two former Miami-Luken executives and two pharmacists have been charged with fuelling the opioid crisis and flooding small towns in Appalachia with huge quantities of opioid drugs.

Trump administration drops law to end rebates for PBMs

The Trump administration has dropped plans to introduce a law which would end rebates on prescription drugs under Medicare.

The Trump administration has said it is abandoning plans to bring in a law which would eliminate the ‘discount safe harbours’ which make prescription drug rebates possible in the United States.

Currently, drug companies pay retrospective ‘rebates’ to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and others in the supply chain who buy drugs at the wholesale list price.

US Judge blocks Trump administration law requiring pharma to include prices in TV ads

A judge has blocked the Trump administration from enacting a law that would require pharmaceutical companies to include the prices of their drugs in TV ads.

On 8 July 2019, District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, DC ruled in favour of pharma giants Amgen, Eli Lilly and MSD in preventing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) new law from taking effect.

FDA sharpen focus on pharmaceutical companies under Trump

The overall number of warning letters being sent out by the FDA has dropped under President Donald Trump, according to analysis posted in Science. However the number of warnings sent to pharma firms has increased.

According to research published in Science, the total number of warning letters sent out by the FDA has dropped by a third under President Donald Trump, with 1033 letters sent out since Trump’s inauguration, compared to 1532 under Barack Obama over the same period of time.

Donald Trump says he will not accept campaign money from pharma

President Donald Trump has said he will not accept money from pharmaceutical companies in the run up to the 2020 elections.

Speaking at the Rx Heroin and Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, Trump said the industry “should be held accountable” for the role they played in the opioid crisis as he declared that he would not accept campaign contributions from pharma.

“My administration is also taking aggressive action to reduce the oversupply of highly addictive prescription drugs,” Trump said.

Pharma boosts lobby spending in first quarter of 2019

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) trade lobbyists have spent near record levels on lobbying in the first three months of 2019.

According to disclosures filed to Congress, the US lobby group spent $9.91 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The figures show a moer than 50% increase on the final quarter of 2018, as spending increased from $6.03 million in the last three months of last year. In total PhRMA spent a record $27.5 million on lobbying in 2018.

China approves Keytruda for non-small cell lung cancer

US firm MSD has won approval for Keytruda in China. The cancer immunotherapy has thus become the first PD-1 inhibitor approved for multiple tumour types in China.

The approval makes Keytruda (pembrolizumab) a first line treatment option alongside chemotherapy for patients in China with metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The indication brought in more than $7 billion in sales in 2018.

Venezuela relaunch pharmaceutical industry with Chinese and Russian backing

President Maduro has pledged to relaunch Venezuela’s pharmaceutical industry, as part of an effort to address shortages of medicines in the Latin American country.

The plan will see the Russian Federation send several tons of medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) across to Venezuela, to assist them in their aims.

“A tremendous effort is made so that free and quality health reaches all the people, to be able to bypass all the aggression of Donald Trump’s government,” Maduro said.

Pharma execs testify in front of Senate of rising drug prices

Senior Executives from seven major pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co., Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson appeared before the US Senate Finance Committee (SFC) on Tuesday to testify on the high prices of drugs in the United States.

US Department of Justice investigate J&J over Baby Powder allegations

The Justice Department and US Securities and Exchanges Commission are investigation healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson over allegations that Johnson’s Baby Powder is contaminated with asbestos.

J&J made the disclosure in a regulatory filing noting that the two agencies have requested documents relating to the allegations.

“The company is cooperating with these government inquiries and will be producing documents in response,” the US healthcare conglomerate said in the filing.

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