Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, June 26

Supreme Court affirmed the legality of the Affordable Care Act for a second time on Thursday
Supreme Court affirmed the legality of the Affordable Care Act for a second time on Thursday

With the Supreme Court affirming the legality of the Affordable Care Act for a second time on Thursday, pharma and healthcare marketers no longer need worry about the possibility that the law will be reversed or gutted, The New York Times reported. The court's ruling in King v. Burwell concluded that insurance tax subsidies provided in the states that have declined to operate a marketplace for insurance coverage are lawful. “For all the misinformation campaigns, all the doomsday predictions, all the talk of death panels and job destruction, for all the repeal attempts - this law is now helping tens of millions of Americans,” President Obama said in a news conference at the White House.In the wake of the decision, the Obama administration can continue to sign up individuals for private, subsidized health insurance. Approximately 10 million individuals have purchased insurance from state or federal marketplaces.

Havas Health has acquired London-based PR and medical communications shop Just:: Health Communications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Founded in 2006 by Jennie Talman and Emma Crozier, Just:: gives Havas Health further PR muscle as it seeks to expand its global footprint. The pair will join Havas's PR Global Collective leadership team and report to Havas Health CEO Donna Murphy. “Just:: is a fantastic fit for Havas Health, as it broadens our service offer, bringing new key skills, new talent and innovative proprietary tools,” Murphy said. Just:: clients in the health/pharma space include GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, AbbVie, Pfizer and Sanofi.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices declined to recommend that teenagers receive two expensive meningitis shots, the Associated Press reported. The decision on whether to administer the vaccine will be left to parents and physicians.A pair of vaccines for the rare B strain meningococcal disease, GlaxoSmithKline's Bexsero and Pfizer's Trumenba, were recently licensed for use in the US. The two-dose Bexsero regimen is priced at $160 per dose, while the three-dose Trumenba is priced at $115 per dose. The vaccines protect against the rare B strain meningococcal disease.

Without an increase in efforts to stop transmission of the AIDS virus, there could be a resurgence in the global HIV epidemic in as few as five years, Reuters reported. Though progress has been made in increasing access to AIDS drugs, joint analysis by UNAIDS and The Lancet revealed that rates of new HIV transmission are not falling as fast as they should. The analysis said that while expanded access to treatment is a necessary and welcome step, treatment alone is not enough to curb the spread of the virus. AIDS-prevention efforts must be intensified as well.“We must face hard truths,” said Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “If the current rate of new HIV infections continues, merely sustaining the major efforts we already have in place will not be enough to stop deaths from AIDS increasing within five years in many countries.”

Covidien has agreed to settle some of the 11,000-plus claims alleging that its transvaginal mesh devices caused injuries and severe pain, Reuters reported. The court filing, in West Virginia federal court, disclosed neither the number of cases settled nor the amounts of any proposed settlements.Overall, approximately 100,000 lawsuits have been filed in the US against makers of transvaginal mesh devices. The plaintiffs allege that faulty design and the use of substandard materials have led to infection, bleeding and nerve damage. Last year, American Medical Systems became the first major manufacturer of the devices to settle mesh-related lawsuits that had been filed against it, setting aside $1.6 billion for approximately 40,000 claims.