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Congressman snared in insider trading plot; tiny robot spiders for surgery

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Congressman snared in insider trading plot; tiny robot spiders for surgery

Here are the editors' top picks for the week ended Aug. 10.

From picnic to facing jail time: A congressman snared in insider trading plot

What started out as an evening of summer fun at the White House during the annual congressional picnic ended up with a member of Congress, his son and a friend being indicted a year later on charges of insider trading.

Of Mice Not Men: Controlling fertility; itsy bitsy robot spiders

Researchers have uncovered how two genes cooperate for follicle health; and a robotic spider was created to show off a new technology that could allow animal-like robots to access hard-to-reach areas.

Medicare looks to significantly change providers' shared savings program

A U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposal would require accountable care organizations to assume more risk at a faster pace in the shared savings program. CMS estimates the program would save Medicare $2.2 billion over 10 years.

Trump administration seeks to stop pharma gaming of Medicaid drug rebate program

The Trump administration took new action to try to stop drugmakers from gaming the Medicaid drug rebate program when they put new formulations of their products on the U.S. market.

60° Pharmaceuticals-US Army's malaria drug clears US FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved 60° Pharmaceuticals LLC's Arakoda, or tafenoquine, tablets to prevent malaria in patients 18 years and older.

Hemophilia, HIV therapies among new exclusions on Express Scripts coverage list

Express Scripts Holding Co. published the 2019 national preferred formulary, which lists 48 new exclusions including HIV and hemophilia medications.

Trump again vows substantial drop in drug prices; J&J CEO among dinner guests

President Donald Trump made another vow that a substantial drop in prescription drug prices was coming, even though a similar pledge he made more than two months ago has yet to be borne out.

Novo Nordisk sees US price cuts in 2019

The Danish maker of diabetes drugs expects average prices after rebates to be lower in 2019, mainly due to basal insulin pricing and changed Medicare Part D coverage gap legislation.

Medicare will allow private plans to require seniors try cheaper drugs first

The Trump administration will permit private insurance plans sold through the Medicare Advantage program to require patients to use cheaper medicines before they can try more expensive drugs — an approach known as step therapy.

CDC: 1 in 7 babies exposed to Zika before birth harmed; vaccine R&D continues

One in 7 babies from U.S. territories exposed to the Zika virus in the womb have health problems, including birth defects, vision and hearing difficulties, seizures, brain damage and developmental delays, health officials reported.

US FDA aims to spur development of new opioid addiction treatments

The U.S. FDA issued new guidelines aimed at persuading drugmakers to develop new treatments for opioid-use disorder in another effort to combat the addiction crisis.

Capitol Checkup: Opioid makers pressed; fentanyl red flags ignored; 340B probed

House committee leaders are probing the marketing and distribution practices of three of the largest makers of opioids; and the FDA ignored for years that doctors were inappropriately prescribing powerful forms of fentanyl.

Medicare agency eliminates long-delayed 25% rule, ups hospital payments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services eliminated a 2005 rule that affects payment rates for long-term care hospitals.