The FDA gave priority review to a new flu drug that could shorten the duration of symptoms in one dose. Already approved in Japan, the drug is being developed by Genentech in the U.S. The FDA expects to make a decision within six months. (STAT)
AstraZeneca and Merck are celebrating after a Lynparza trial for ovarian cancer showed good results. The drug could add $1 billion in Lynparza sales each year if approved as a first-line treatment for ovarian cancer. Lynparza has already been approved to treat later-stage ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer. (Reuters)
The drug patent system is the cause of high drug prices, not “foreign freeloading,” as President Donald Trump has claimed. Drug patents and exclusivity are good for incentivizing innovation, but they also contribute to the surging cost of drugs, as pharma companies have found ways to prolong their patents and delay competition longer than ever, according to an op-ed from Tahir Amin, cofounder of nonprofit I-MAK.org. (CNBC) The administration’s plan also has a provision to end companies’ IP games, but it has been vague on details.
The White House has proposed cuts to public health service corps. The plan would decrease the size of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by 40%. These public health professionals deploy during disasters and disease outbreaks, monitor drug safety, and provide healthcare in some of the nation’s most remote and disadvantaged areas. (Washington Post)