As 2019 begins, drugmakers are raising prices on hundreds of treatments. Many price increases are modest under continuing public and political pressure to lower the price of drugs. An analysis found some hikes on generics are particularly high, while Allergan raised prices nearly 10% on more than two dozen products. (Wall Street Journal)

Federal judge OKs CVS-Aetna merger, with conditions. The judge accepted CVS Health’s plan that would allow Aetna to operate independently on key decisions like pricing, hiring employees, and products brought to market. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon also called for quarterly reports from the combined company and said he will continue to review whether the deal is in “the public interest.” (Forbes)

Prospective Democratic presidential candidates are planning to make lowering drug prices a central issue. Several potential candidates have unveiled plans to tackle drug prices in recent weeks, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The candidates are looking to reclaim an issue that President Donald Trump has made central to his administration. (The Hill)

A study found that children and teens are also dying from opioids in increasing numbers. Between 1999 and 2016, the rate of opioid-related deaths in children nearly tripled, according to a study published in JAMA. Over that 18-year span, nearly 9,000 children and teens died from an opioid overdose. (CNN)

PhRMA’s influence in Washington may be waning as the group loses lobbying battles. An example is the organization’s failure to stop a measure to make drugmakers pay more for Medicare, despite throwing all of its influence at the issue. The change went into effect Tuesday; experts said it will cost the industry nearly $12 billion over the next 10 years. (STAT)