Pharmacy Chain Tactics Failed To Stop Opioid Crisis: Documents

A report in Stat looks into tactics deployed by major pharmacy chains Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart during government efforts a decade ago to hold them accountable for the opioid crisis: A Walgreens executive, for example, suggested not tracking the company’s rule-breaking.

Stat: Documents Detail How Walgreens, CVS, Walmart Failed Patients On Opioids

In 2011, Walgreens executives were under pressure. Amid a growing addiction crisis, and with the country already awash in prescription painkillers, the federal government was demanding accountability from the pharmacy giant for filling thousands of opioid prescriptions written by doctors in suspiciously large quantities. (Facher, Sheridan and Silverman, 10/14)

In other pharmaceutical and biotech news —

Reuters: US Supreme Court Rebuffs Novartis, Allows Generic Versions Of MS Drug

The US Supreme Court on Thursday turned down Novartis’ bid to block the launch of generic versions of the company’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya in a dispute with China’s HEC Pharm Co Ltd and other generic drugmakers. (Brittain, 10/13)

Stat: Relmada Antidepressant Drug Fails First Of Several Late-Stage Clinical Trials

Relmada Therapeutics said Thursday that its experimental treatment for depression failed to achieve the primary goals of a large clinical trial, a significant setback for the company’s only medicine in clinical development. (Flint, 10/13)

KHN: 5 Things To Know About Colorado’s Psychedelics Ballot Initiative

Colorado could become the second state after Oregon to allow the use of certain psychedelic substances that are illegal under federal law. But while Oregon voters in 2020 approved the supervised use of psychedelic mushrooms, the citizen initiative on the Colorado ballot in November goes further. Proposition 122 would allow the personal use of psilocybin mushrooms and certain plant-based psychedelic substances by adults 21 and over but would ban sales except in licensed “healing centers,” where people could ingest them under the supervision of trained facilitators. (Hawryluk and Volz, 10/14)

The Boston Globe: Local Tech Firms Are Analyzing Sweat To Track Your Health

“It turns out there’s a lot of information in a single drop of sweat,” said Roozbeh Ghaffari, chief executive and cofounder of Epicore Biosystems, a Cambridge company backed by $10 million in funding from investors that include Chevron Technology Ventures and Alumni Ventures. (Bray, 10/13)

In health care industry news —

Fierce Healthcare: Samsung Partners With HealthTap To Bring Virtual Primary Care To Smart TVs

Samsung is teaming up with a digital health company to bring virtual care into consumers’ homes through their smart TVs. Through a new partnership with virtual primary care company HealthTap, Samsung Smart TV users can connect to the company’s healthcare platform and visit with a doctor of their choice using the built-in camera on their television, according to the companies in a press release. Consumers can review doctor bios, credentials and video interviews to select a doctor and easily schedule an appointment, often within the same week. (Landi, 10/13)

Des Moines Register: 3-Year-Old Given Too Much Pain Medication After Cyberattack Shut Down MercyOne Computers, Parents Say

Three-year-old Jay Parsi appears to be just one of an unknown number of patients seriously affected by the massive cyberattack that started in early October. “It was an awful, awful experience,” Kelley Parsi, Jay’s mother, told the Des Moines Register. (ram, 10/13)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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