PBMs working to reduce prescription drug costs for consumers

Patients and payers in South Carolina will save $10.3 billion over 10 years thanks to pharmacy benefit managers, writes Edmund Pezalla, a scholar-in-residence at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. S.C. Statehouse Report (Charleston, S.C.) (10/19)

HHS opens investigation into opioid makers' REMS compliance

The HHS Office of Inspector General is investigating the FDA's enforcement of the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy program as it relates to opioid drugs. InsideHealthPolicy (subscription required) (10/19)

Agency officials rush to prepare opioid emergency declaration

Trump administration officials are struggling to develop an emergency declaration on the nation's opioid abuse crisis after the president said he would make the declaration next week. Administration officials say agencies were not prepared for President Donald Trump's statement and there is no consensus how the emergency declaration should be implemented. Politico (2/9)

Trump to nominate antitrust lawyer Simons to lead FTC

President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission will be Joseph Simons, an antitrust lawyer with Washington law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the White House said. Simons worked in the FTC's Bureau of Competition from 2001 to 2003. Reuters (10/18)

More senators support bipartisan deal to stabilize insurance markets

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Thursday that 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats signed on to co-sponsor their bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act markets. Alexander expects the proposal to "become law in some fashion before the end of the year," despite a lack of commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote. CNBC (10/19)

Imprimis to offer compounded version of Restasis

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals will market a customizable topical formulation of cyclosporine, the active ingredient in Allergan's Restasis dry-eye drug, for $0.99 for the first month's supply with refills priced at least $79 a month. Reuters (10/19)

Sales of Rituxan slide as biosimilars gain ground in Europe

Roche Holding's Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin face competition from biosimilars and newer treatments, with revenue for Rituxan falling 16% in Europe last quarter on top of a 3% decline the previous quarter. Bloomberg (free registration) (10/19)

Celgene discontinues late-stage study of Crohn's disease drug

A Phase III trial of mongersen, or GED-0301, for the treatment of Crohn's disease was suspended by Celgene after an independent committee conducted an interim futility analysis and benefit-risk assessment of the drug. Celgene said it will decide what is next for the drug candidate after data from a midstage trial evaluating it for an ulcerative colitis indication is available. BioCentury (10/19)

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Jerome K. Jerome, writer and humorist