Incoming Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is shaking up the drugmaker’s executive team. Bourla is bringing on the company’s first chief digital officer, Lidia Fonseca from Quest Diagnostics. Some current executives are taking over other positions, with R&D chief Mikael Dolsten overseeing the chief medical officer role and CFO Frank D’Amelio taking over manufacturing operations. (Endpoints News)
More insurance coverage of alternative pain treatments could help to fight the opioid crisis, a JAMA study found. Many insurers don’t cover non-drug alternatives to opioids like acupuncture, massage, or psychological counseling. Researchers believe that insurers were missing opportunities to cover these alternative therapies, and that was pushing patients toward taking opioids instead. (Reuters)
A pair of bills ending pharmacist “gag orders” on drug prices is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump. The bills ban contracts that prevent pharmacists from telling patients that they can pay less for a drug by paying a pharmacy’s lower cash price instead of that negotiated by their insurance plan. (Kaiser Health News)
Johnson & Johnson’s Stelara succeeded in a late-stage study of chronic bowel disease. The drug is a huge seller for J&J, bringing in $1.3 billion in Q2. The drugmaker is also studying its effectiveness for lupus. Stelara has already been approved to treat psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. (Reuters)
The FDA has found the AcelRx opioid is opioid is safe and effective for use. However, the review staff expressed concernabout the small size of its opioid pill, noting that it could be easier to misplace or result in accidental use by others. (Reuters) This item was updated based on Reuters’ correction of its original story.