(Reuters) – Consolidation in the U.S. healthcare industry, which has already witnessed a string of multi-billion dollar deals, is expected to remain a major theme for the rest of 2019.
FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $74 billion acquisition of Celgene set the M&A ball rolling in January, and was followed by AbbVie Inc’s $63 billion bid for troubled smaller rival Allergan Plc.
Regulators are pressuring companies to cut drug costs and takeovers have become the preferred method of combating looming patent expiries on some of the top-selling medicines they have relied upon in recent years.
The politics of health care are changing. And one of the most controversial parts of the Affordable Care Act — the so-called Cadillac tax — may be about to change with it.
The Cadillac tax is a 40% tax on the most generous employer-provided health insurance plans — those that cost more than $11,200 for an individual policy or $30,150 for family coverage. It was supposed to take effect in 2018, but Congress has delayed it twice. And the House recently voted overwhelmingly — 419-6 — to repeal it entirely. A Senate companion bill has 61 co-sponsors — more than enough to ensure passage.
FILE PHOTO: A man vapes outside an office block in Manchester, Britain, February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a “cluster” of lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use after such cases were reported in 14 states.
The CDC is working with health departments in Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana and Minnesota on the investigation. Since June 28, states have reported 94 possible cases of severe lung illness tied to vaping, with 30 occurring in Wisconsin, according to a CDC statement on Saturday.
VIENNA (Reuters) – An unnamed Novartis executive sold 925,400 Swiss francs ($946,000) worth of shares less than three weeks before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced data from tests of its gene therapy Zolgensma had been manipulated.
FILE PHOTO: Swiss drugmaker Novartis’ logo is seen at the company’s plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein, Switzerland October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
Novartis announced the stock sale by an executive member of the board of directors or a member of the executive committee in a Swiss stock exchange filing dated July 19. The sale was first reported by Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung on Sunday.
TOKYO (Reuters) – High levels of E.coli bacteria forced Tokyo officials to cancel the swimming segment of Saturday’s Paratriathlon World Cup, raising concerns about next year’s Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Water quality tests at Odaiba Marine Park found fecal bacteria levels far exceeded accepted limits, organizers said, forcing them to pull the plug on the swimming events.
The change was the latest to highlight problems that could arise during next year’s Games due to Tokyo’s sweltering summer temperatures.
Increasing numbers of middle-aged Americans appear to be developing cancers that can be associated with obesity, new data suggest.
And the increase in these cancers among 50- to 64-year-olds parallels the rising rates of obesity, researchers say.
In their analysis of more than six million cancer cases, researchers found that obesity-associated cancers appeared to be shifting to younger people, including those under 50, according to the report published in JAMA Network Open.
(Reuters) – AbbVie Inc has priced its new rheumatoid arthritis treatment at $59,000 a year after gaining U.S. approval on Friday, a big boost for the drugmaker struggling with rising competition for Humira, its blockbuster therapy for the same condition.
FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A four-week supply of Humira, the world’s best-selling medicine, has a list price of about $5,174, amounting to more than $60,000 for a year.
(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Celgene Corp’s Inrebic to treat certain rare forms of bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis, making it the second approved drug to treat the disease.
Inrebic belongs to a class of drugs known as JAK inhibitors that work by blocking inflammation-causing Janus kinases enzymes. It will compete with Incyte Corp’s Jakafi, also a JAK inhibitor, which was approved in 2011 for treating the same condition.
However, Inrebic’s approval comes with a boxed warning, the drug regulator’s harshest, that flags concerns such as serious and fatal brain damage.