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White House scraps proposal to lower U.S. drug prices

The Trump administration scrapped a proposal for lowering prescription medicine prices, backing down from a policy that would have required health insurers to pass on billions of dollars in rebates they receive from drugmakers to Medicare patients.

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UnitedHealth gets FTC approval for DaVita unit purchase

UnitedHealth Group Inc. won anti-trust approval to buy DaVita Inc.’s primary and urgent care unit for $4.3 billion, the Federal Trade Commission said.

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Lilly’s new migraine drug pulls ahead of Amgen in fierce battle for new prescriptions

Eli Lilly and Co. pulled ahead in a three-way race with Amgen Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in attracting new patients to a new class of migraine drugs, and seeks to build on that advantage by stressing that the company’s therapy can completely prevent headaches in a small percentage of patients.

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The obscure advisory committees at the heart of the U.S. drug pricing debate

Expectations were high during 2018 for three new migraine drugs hitting the market from Amgen Inc., Eli Lilly and Co. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Priced around $7,000 each, the drugmakers called them “breakthrough” treatments designed to prevent migraines when taken year-round, and estimated that millions of patients could benefit. But a small group of medical experts who quietly advise U.S. health insurers on new drugs was not impressed, according to a private meeting held at UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx offices in Chicago that was attended by Reuters.

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UnitedHealth Sues Former Exec for Taking Secrets to Amazon-Berkshire-Chase Joint Venture

UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit is suing David Smith, a former information technology executive, for breach of contract.

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U.S. insulin costs per patient nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016: study

The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States nearly doubled over a five-year period, underscoring a national outcry over rising drug prices, according to a new analysis shared with Reuters.

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Health stocks up on U.S. vote, insurers hit records

Healthcare stocks rallied with U.S. health insurers reaching record highs as results of the 2018 mid-term elections were seen reducing the likelihood of action to cut medical costs and programs in the world’s biggest and most profitable market.

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Express Scripts staking out million dollar gene therapies

Express Scripts Holding Co. built a multi-billion enterprise pressuring drug companies to lower their prices for U.S. patients. Now the pharmacy benefit manager is quietly building a side business: getting paid to help drug companies dispense a new generation of high-priced drugs.

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Three drug-pricing controls emerge in U.S. market

As drug prices fall under increased scrutiny, payers and regulators are targeting some key initiatives that could change the dynamic of pharmacy benefit management over the next 12 months. These emerging trends point to potentially rougher terrain for drugmakers looking to increase market share as payers take a more active role in enforcing formularies.

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Amgen’s new migraine drug hits insurance hurdles

Amgen Inc.’s push to get patients on its new $575 a month migraine drug before competition emerges in September 2018 is facing barriers from insurers.

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