COVID-19 is the unwanted gift that keeps on giving. The U.S. CDC unwrapped one of those “presents” in a July 12 report that showed the threat of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections has worsened — with resistant hospital-onset infections and deaths in the U.S. each increasing at least 15% during the first year of the pandemic.
The revised Build Back Better bill Democrats in the U.S. Senate are looking to pass in the next few weeks could deliver savings of $18 billion to $24 billion per year from 2028 through 2031 through drug pricing reforms that include direct Medicare price negotiations, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.
Another biopharma consultant got on the wrong side of the U.S. SEC for insider trading. To resolve the allegations, Hugh Lee Sweeney, a longtime consultant for Catabasis Pharmaceutical Inc., agreed to a cease-and-desist order, disgorgement of $57,931 and prejudgment interest of $2,499.71, and civil penalties of $57,931.
A few weeks ago, the odds of the deeply divided U.S. Congress passing drug pricing reforms that would allow direct Medicare negotiation seemed pretty slim. But those odds improved significantly July 6 when Senate Democrats reached a compromise on their version of the pricing provisions included in the Build Back Better bill, H.R. 5376, passed by the House last November.
While the U.S. Congress struggles to patch together statutory restraints on prescription drug prices, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with the FDA’s help, is taking steps to cut back the patent thickets some drug companies are using to ward off the competition that would bring those prices down.
A U.S. federal jury breathed new life into so-called pay-for-delay settlements when it found that a 2010 agreement between Endo International plc and Impax Laboratories LLC was procompetitive as it allowed Impax to launch its generic version of Opana ER, an opioid pain drug, before key patents expired.
The U.S. FDA’s guidance to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, announced June 30, that they should develop modified bivalent boosters that include an omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component marks the beginning of a new era in the pandemic in which manufacturers are no longer driving the development of the vaccines.
Given that Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine will be a latecomer to the U.S. scene if it gets FDA authorization, it’s been cast in a supporting role to the lead being played by the mRNA vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.-Biontech SE. But the data presented at the June 28 Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee meeting suggest the Novavax adjuvanted protein vaccine may have the chops to take on a larger role in taming the pandemic.