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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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U.S. House Democrats introduce sweeping ‘Medicare for All’ bill

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an ambitious proposal to move all Americans into the government’s Medicare health insurance program.

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Sanofi and Regeneron cutting list price of cholesterol drug by 60 percent

Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. will slash the U.S. list price of the companies’ potent but expensive cholesterol fighter Praluent by 60 percent.

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Powerful Senate committee invites pharma executives to testify

A powerful U.S. Senate committee invited seven pharmaceutical companies to testify at a hearing during February 2019 examining rising prescription drug prices.

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HHS Secretary Azar Floats Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

As lawmakers in Congress are exploring potential price-lowering options for prescription drugs, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is floating a proposed rule to lower the prices and out-of-pocket expenses by encouraging manufacturers to pass discounts to patients instead of insurers.

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U.S. lawmakers request info from insulin makers on rising prices

Two powerful U.S. lawmakers sent letters to the three leading insulin manufacturers requesting information on why its cost has skyrocketed in recent years and how much the companies profit from the life-sustaining diabetes treatment.

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Senate Finance Committee and House Oversight Committee Take Aim at Drug Pricing

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight Committee started hearings focused on high drug prices.

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J&J raises U.S. prices on around two dozen drugs

Johnson & Johnson raised U.S. prices on around two dozen prescription drugs, including the psoriasis treatment Stelara, prostate cancer drug Zytiga and blood thinner Xarelto, all among the company’s top-selling products.

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Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers must face $1 billion syphilis infections lawsuit

A federal judge in Maryland said The Johns Hopkins University, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a 1940s U.S. government experiment that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis.

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Seven Trends That Shaped 2018

Barring a last-minute reversal, 2018 will likely end as a down year for the biotech industry, at least in terms of stock performance.

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