1. UnitedHealth Group said it will give Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent preferred status on its formularies. Since Praluent and another PCSK9 inhibitor, Amgen’s Repatha, were approved last summer, the industry is closely watching to see how formulary decisions play out. Express Scripts, the nation’s largest PBM, put both drugs on its formulary, while CVS Health selected Repatha.
2. Within 48 hours of the first TV ad for a drug going live, the government told the drugmaker, Boots Pharmaceuticals, to stop running it. Stat News takes a look at the backstory of the first DTC ad. The American Medical Association in November called for a ban on DTC ads.
3. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the British cost watchdog, said Novartis’s heart-failure drug, Entresto, has been recommended for use in certain patients. The cost of the drug in Britain is about half the US price of $4,560. (Reuters)
4. Physicians are questioning the use of antipsychotics in children younger than two years old. IMS Health data shows that prescriptions for these drugs in this group of patients is growing. (NYT)
5. ICYMI: Sanofi’s dengue fever vaccine received approval in Mexico, the first country to approve the shot. The drugmaker said it will have filed for approval in 20 countries by the end of this year. (WSJ)