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GSK, Pfizer form consumer health giant; drug recall puts spotlight on US FDA


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GSK, Pfizer form consumer health giant; drug recall puts spotlight on US FDA

Here are the editors' top picks for the week ended Dec. 21.

Glaxo creates the world's largest consumer health group with Pfizer venture

GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which acquired Tesaro Inc. earlier this month to build on its increasing focus on oncology, said it will create the world's largest consumer health group by joining with Pfizer Inc.'s consumer division.

Drug recall underscores US FDA's slow response to globalized supply chain

In late 2018, Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s voluntary recall of tainted valsartan batches put a spotlight on the dependence of the United States on overseas drug manufacturing and the challenges of regulating the globalized market.

Environmental impact of antibiotics resistance pressures animal health sales

Antibiotics resistance permeating farm animals' surrounding environment has generated worldwide public health attention, prompting several countries to take action. Consumer awareness is driving demand for products "raised without antibiotics."

DEA failed to stop 'opioid dumping,' report says; senator probes pain task force

The Drug Enforcement Administration failed for more than a decade to stop distributors of opioids from flooding West Virginia with millions of pills, many of which end up at rogue pharmacies, a congressional panel reported.

Top Senate Finance Democrat probes Pfizer's price hikes for fibromyalgia drug

The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, wants Pfizer to justify the price increases of its fibromyalgia drug Lyrica — a medicine for which prices have significantly risen in the past decade.

182,000 Virginians will gain Medicaid when expansion takes effect in 2019

Medicaid expansion in Virginia is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2019, and more than 182,000 people have gained coverage under the new policy, according to Gov. Ralph Northam.

Democratic lawmakers want US government manufacturing of critical generic drugs

Two Democrats on Capitol Hill want to give the U.S. government the power to make certain generic drugs in cases where manufacturers have a monopoly and have significantly raised prices, putting those products out of the reach of many Americans.

Junshi's PD-1 drug receives approval in China; 1st among domestic drugmakers

The Shanghai-based company plans to go public in Hong Kong on Dec. 24.

Oxeia CEO describes hunger hormone's potential as concussion treatment

Oxeia Biopharmaceuticals Inc. CEO Michael Wyand sheds light on the unmet medical need of those suffering concussions, and what Oxeia is doing to try and mitigate the long-term effects.

Over 4,000 removed from Medicaid in Arkansas due to work requirements

At the end of November, over 4,000 people in Arkansas lost Medicaid eligibility until 2019 due to the state's work requirements policy. A total of 16,932 have lost eligibility since the program began in June.

Senate health chief Alexander will not pursue 2020 re-election bid

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said he plans to retire at the end of his current term and will not seek re-election in 2020, relinquishing a seat he has held since 2003.

Capitol Checkup: US FDA's experimental drugs push; ACA ruling's political box

U.S. regulators are considering a pilot program that would more directly assist critically ill patients in accessing unapproved medicines; and Republicans are not fully embracing a Texas judge's ruling invalidating the Affordable Care Act.

Federal judge in Texas rules Obama's entire health law unconstitutional

A federal district judge in Texas ruled the entire ACA was unconstitutional, siding with a group of 20 Republican state attorneys general in their effort to invalidate the 2010 law.

Wis. governor signs legislation to keep Medicaid work requirements in place

Wisconsin's outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a legislation package that limits the powers of Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and cements the state's work requirements program.

Johnson & Johnson says asbestos report is 'one-sided, false and inflammatory'

Johnson & Johnson has responded to a report from Reuters alleging that the healthcare giant covered up information regarding carcinogens in its baby powder, calling the report "one-sided, false and inflammatory."

Pinpointing antibiotics use in farm animals remains elusive amid drug resistance

Though the mounting threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has risen to the forefront of global health authorities and consumers alike, the use of antibiotics in farm animals in the U.S. remains murky due to a lack of federal oversight.