As reported by the BBC, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that the United Kingdom is in a “late” phase of the plan to combat COVID-19. There have been 596 confirmed cases in the British Isles. “We are considering banning important public events like sports games,” Johnson said. At the moment, the Premier League continues to be disputed and open door. On the other hand, Donald Trump, President of the United States, excluded the United Kingdom from the ban on flights within the European framework.The decision that the British Government can take will be highly relevant regarding the future of the Eurocup this summer. Seven of the matches in the tournament will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, while others will take place in Glasgow, Dublin and Cardiff. In Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Argentina and the NBA they have suspended their competitions. The Premier continues its courseAfter the appearance of the Prime Minister, the Premier League as a competition, has announced that the scheduled matches will continue to be held: “While the Prime Minister reported that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, also indicated that the Government is considering banning important public events, such as sports games. ““The well-being of players, staff and supporters is of utmost importance and we will continue to follow England’s Public Health guidelines in depth.“The Premier League explained in the note. So, and as long as the government does not alter the plan, football will continue to be played normally.
Johnson & Johnson increased its 2017 sales and adjusted profit guidance for the third quarter in a row, though net income in the quarter fell due to one-time items and amortization related to the company’s Actelion acquisition.J&J, one of the largest health-products companies by revenue based in the U.S., urged lawmakers in Washington to “unite behind” a plan to overhaul the corporate tax system but said its 2017 guidance doesn’t assume there will be tax reform this year. (Rockoff and Lombardo, 10/17) Stat: What Risks? Consumers Are Tuning Out Side Effect Info In TV Drug Ads Patient advocacy groups — many funded by drugmakers — are fighting decades-old policies that require patients to try the most cost-effective medications before getting coverage for pricier drugs — a practice known as “step therapy.” (Rayasam, 10/10) Frustration over prescription drug prices is prompting some states to force pharmaceutical makers to justify the cost of medications. California’s governor recently signed a bill doing just that. And Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing a similar measure. A bill introduced by Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, would require advance notification to the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and state Department of Health Services anytime the cost of a drug increases more than 25 percent. She said consumers, insurers, the government and the public would like to better understand pharmaceutical pricing. (Mills, 10/16) Stat: Q&A: Will We See More Drug Makers File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Rivals? Gene therapy has the potential to be a one-shot treatment that could reverse blindness, restore blood clotting function to hemophiliacs, or even cure rare diseases outright. But what kind of price tag comes with that promise — and who will pay for it? The question is no longer academic: On Thursday, Spark Therapeutics won unanimous support from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel for its gene therapy drug, Luxturna. It seems likely to win FDA approval in the coming months. But the cost will be hefty: Analysts estimate that Luxturna, which has been shown to restore vision in children with an inherited form of blindness, could cost $1 million per patient. (Keshavan, 10/13) If you’ve ever put in eyedrops, some of them have almost certainly spilled onto your eyelid or cheek. The good news is the mess doesn’t necessarily mean you missed. The bad news is that medicine you wiped off your face is wasted by design — and it’s well-known to the drug companies that make the drops. (Allen, 10/18) Stat: Judge Invalidates Allergan Patents And Criticizes Deal With The Mohawks Wisconsin Public Radio: Democrat Seeks Price Transparency On Prescription Drugs Stat: Why Do We Need Drug Rebates, Anyway? A Top Lawmaker Wants To Know In a blow to Allergan (AGN), a federal judge invalidated the patents on its Restasis eye treatment, the latest twist in a captivating controversy over the fate of the best-selling medicine. The ruling brings some of the largest generic drug makers — Mylan and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) — a big step closer to selling lower-cost versions of a product that generated nearly $1.5 billion in sales last year. For now, though, the companies must first win regulatory approval and, meanwhile, battle in court still more since Allergan plans to appeal. And this will take months to resolve, stretching well into next year. (Silverman, 10/16) The Hill: Battle Over Drug Prices Shifts Back To The States The litany of side effects recited in TV drug ads are designed to alert you to all of the potential risks, big and small. But it turns out these well-intended laundry lists, which are required by regulators, actually have the opposite effect — consumers pay less attention to the most serious side effects and, consequently, focus on the benefits of the drug, according to a new study. In short, regulators may have created a paradox if the marketability of the drugs has increased. (Silverman, 10/12) President Trump on Monday addressed a well-established tenet of life in Washington: The pharmaceutical industry has loads of money and doesn’t hesitate to spend it on Congress. “They contribute massive amounts of money to political people,” Trump said during an impromptu news conference, turning to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was standing to his side. “I don’t know, Mitch, maybe even to you.” …Trump was not wrong. In his last race in 2014, McConnell raked in $550,923 from the pharmaceutical and health products industries — more than any other individual lawmaker received that year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which analyzes political spending data from the Federal Election Commission. (Swetlitz and Mershon, 10/16) Kaiser Health News: Cascade Of Costs Could Push New Gene Therapy Above $1 Million Per Patient Cleveland Plain Dealer: State Report: Issue 2 Savings Impossible To Predict Politifact: Ohio Issue 2 Ballot Initiative Proponents Overstate Impact On EpiPen Prices Stat: When It Comes To Pharma Money, Trump Was With The Elephant In The Room he families of dozens of U.S. troops killed or injured during the war in Iraq filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against several U.S. and European pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, alleging that the corporations knowingly financed the anti-American militia Mahdi Army through bribes and kickbacks to officials at a government ministry controlled by the group. (Madhani, 10/17) Three times in recent weeks, a big drug maker sued another for allegedly using illegal tactics to win valuable contracts with payers. In one lawsuit, Pfizer claimed that Johnson & Johnson violated antitrust law when convincing insurers not to cover its biosimilar version of the Remicade rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Then, Shire alleged Medicare Part D plans refused to cover its Xiidra dry-eye treatment, because Allergan used “bundled discounts” and “exclusive” deals to lock down the market. And Sanofi accused Mylan of thwarting its move to sell an EpiPen rival. Drug makers regularly offer discounts to payers, but the lawsuits are drawing new attention to behind-the-scenes dealings. We spoke with Michael Carrier, a Rutgers University School of Law professor who specializes in antitrust matters in the pharmaceutical industry, about the implications. (Silverman, 10/16) USA Today: Families Allege Big Pharma Helped Finance Iraq’s Mahdi Army Through Bribes USA Today: Cost Of Cold And Flu Season Can Make You Sick ‘I’m Not Interested In Their Money,’ Trump Says Of Pharma. But He Took It Anyway. News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing. Outrage over the high cost of cancer care has focused on skyrocketing drug prices, including the $475,000 price tag for the country’s first gene therapy, Novartis’ Kymriah, a leukemia treatment approved in August. But the total costs of Kymriah and the 21 similar drugs in development — known as CAR T-cell therapies — will be far higher than many have imagined, reaching $1 million or more per patient, according to leading cancer experts. The next CAR T-cell drug could be approved as soon as November. (Szabo, 10/17) ProPublica: Oversized Eyedrops Waste Medicine And Money Stat: Who Will Pay For A $1 Million Drug? Gene Therapies Raise Tough Questions Cold and flu season isn’t just physically painful — it can hurt your wallet too. The average consumer shops for over-the-counter medicine 26 times each year. That’s $338 per household, according to data collected by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade organization, in 2015, the most recent available. That same year, Americans spent $328 billion on prescription retail drugs, or prescription drugs purchased in pharmacies, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services. (Ell, 10/17) Bloomberg: Drug Supply Players Point A Finger Everywhere But Themselves Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices claims its ballot initiative could lower the price tag for the EpiPen, a popular auto-injector for serious allergic reactions. “We’ve gone from paying about $100 for EpiPens to over $600. And they only hold about one dollar’s worth of medicine,” the Aug. 29, 2017, video says. “We don’t have a choice but to pay it and the drug companies know it. Vote yes on Issue 2, the Drug Price Relief Act.” (Tobias, 10/13) Sen. Lamar Alexander has a question: why do we have drug rebates, anyway? “Why do we need rebates?” the Tennessee Republican asked a panel of pharmaceutical industry representatives at a Senate committee hearing. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee met Tuesday morning for the second of three hearings on drug pricing, and heard testimony from five interest groups representing companies that play different roles in getting medicines to patients. (Swetlitz, 10/17) President Trump has derided pharmaceutical companies as “getting away with murder,” but there’s been little action in Washington to rein in the costs of prescription drugs. Some states are taking matters into their own hands. California passed a new law that requires pharmaceutical companies to explain a drug’s price tag, and other states are considering similar measures. (Roubein, 10/11) Politico Pro: States Look To Rein In Insurer Limits On Drug Coverage An analysis by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management finds the state could save some money if Issue 2 passes, but it is impossible to say with certainty or how much. Issue 2 is the ballot initiative that would require the state to pay no more for pharmaceuticals than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration does. (Richardson, 10/11) The Wall Street Journal: Johnson & Johnson Outlook Buoyed By Drug Unit A day after President Donald Trump renewed his attack on high drug prices, officials from the drug industry’s top lobbying groups sat down at a black cloth-draped table in a Senate hearing room and told lawmakers who’s to blame: the person a few seats over. Drugmakers said in prepared remarks that insurers, pharmacy-benefit managers and hospitals, among others, keep a large chunk of the money Americans spend on medicine and don’t pass on savings to patients. (Edney, 10/17) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.