From The Wall Street Journal

Democrats Look at Lowering Medicare Eligibility Age in Healthcare Package

March 31, 2021

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are planning another round of healthcare initiatives that could include lowering the Medicare eligibility age, following their major expansion of the Affordable Care Act this year.

Democrats are still negotiating over which healthcare policy elements could be in the second of two spending programs the administration plans to unveil soon, according to congressional aides and industry groups.

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are planning another round of healthcare initiatives that could include lowering the Medicare eligibility age, following their major expansion of the Affordable Care Act this year.

Democrats are still negotiating over which healthcare policy elements could be in the second of two spending programs the administration plans to unveil soon, according to congressional aides and industry groups.

The package is likely to contain measures to reduce drug prices and expand health coverage, lawmakers said. Proposals to expand Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 60 and to enable the federal government to negotiate drug prices in the health program for seniors—both of which President Biden supported on the campaign trail—are also likely to be included….

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FTC Prepares to Take Tougher Stance on Pharmaceutical Mergers

March 17, 2021

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing to take a harder line on drug-company mergers, announcing plans Tuesday to overhaul its process for reviewing deals that could harm competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

The initiative, spurred by the FTC’s acting Democratic chairwoman, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, signals what could be a tougher road ahead for the industry during the Biden administration. It also highlights a growing Democratic push for stronger antitrust enforcement across the economy—and not just the tech sector, where a handful of companies have attracted bipartisan concern.

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing to take a harder line on drug-company mergers, announcing plans Tuesday to overhaul its process for reviewing deals that could harm competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

The initiative, spurred by the FTC’s acting Democratic chairwoman, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, signals what could be a tougher road ahead for the industry during the Biden administration. It also highlights a growing Democratic push for stronger antitrust enforcement across the economy—and not just the tech sector, where a handful of companies have attracted bipartisan concern.

“We intend to take an aggressive approach to tackling anticompetitive pharmaceutical mergers,” Ms. Slaughter said….

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Covid-19 Antibody Drug Effective in Study, GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Say

March 11, 2021

A monoclonal-antibody drug reduced hospitalizations or death from Covid-19 by 85% compared with a placebo in a clinical trial, said Vir Biotechnology Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the drug’s developers.

Based on the positive results, the companies said Wednesday they will immediately ask health regulators in the U.S. and other countries to authorize the therapy, which would add to the arsenal of Covid-19 treatments that help keep infected people out of hospitals.

A monoclonal-antibody drug reduced hospitalizations or death from Covid-19 by 85% compared with a placebo in a clinical trial, said Vir Biotechnology Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the drug’s developers.

Based on the positive results, the companies said Wednesday they will immediately ask health regulators in the U.S. and other countries to authorize the therapy, which would add to the arsenal of Covid-19 treatments that help keep infected people out of hospitals.

If authorized, the medicine would be the fourth antibody drug available in the U.S. after ones made by Eli Lilly & Co. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Then-President Donald Trumppraised Regeneron’s for his recovery, but the drugs have been lightly used….

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To Make More Covid-19 Vaccines, Rival Drugmakers Team Up

February 24, 2021

Some of the world’s biggest drugmakers are joining forces with rivals to help produce Covid-19 vaccines, forging unusual alliances that promise to substantially increase supplies by this summer.

Normally big pharmaceutical companies compete to sell cancer, arthritis and other drugs. The desperate need for Covid-19 vaccines, however, is turning fierce industry competitors into fast pandemic friends.

Sanofi SA recently agreed to help make a vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE after Sanofi’s experimental Covid-19 shot suffered a five-month setback, freeing up a production line in Frankfurt….

Some of the world’s biggest drugmakers are joining forces with rivals to help produce Covid-19 vaccines, forging unusual alliances that promise to substantially increase supplies by this summer.

Normally big pharmaceutical companies compete to sell cancer, arthritis and other drugs. The desperate need for Covid-19 vaccines, however, is turning fierce industry competitors into fast pandemic friends.

Sanofi SA recently agreed to help make a vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE after Sanofi’s experimental Covid-19 shot suffered a five-month setback, freeing up a production line in Frankfurt….

Read the full The Wall Street Journal article

Regeneron Antibody Drug Temporarily Protects Against Covid-19, Preliminary Data Show

January 26, 2021

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said its antibody drug reduced coronavirus infections by half in people at high risk, a preliminary sign the therapy could be given to temporarily prevent Covid-19.

None of the patients receiving the drug developed symptoms from the virus, Regeneron said Tuesday, providing an interim analysis of a continuing study.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said its antibody drug reduced coronavirus infections by half in people at high risk, a preliminary sign the therapy could be given to temporarily prevent Covid-19.

None of the patients receiving the drug developed symptoms from the virus, Regeneron said Tuesday, providing an interim analysis of a continuing study.

Given the drug’s performance, Regeneron said it would discuss the possibility of authorizing the drug as a temporary vaccine with U.S. regulators. Complete trial data from the study is expected early in the second quarter, the company said….

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