The Wall Street Journal reported the pharmaceutical manufacturers are starting to refill their "parched" new drug pipelines.
Companies have won marketing approval so far this year for 20 innovative medicines that work differently or better than existing drugs, or tackle ailments lacking good treatments, according to the Food and Drug Administration. "New molecular entities," the FDA calls them. There were just 21 such approvals all last year.
Recently approved are the first therapy shown to extend life for people with advanced melanoma, the deadly skin cancer; the first new treatment for lupus in over 50 years; and two drugs for hepatitis C that are far more effective than current care.That's good news that should help the pharmaceutical manufacturers recoup revenue that will be lost when many blockbuster drugs like Lipitor go generic later this year and next year. The country needs productive research efforts like this.
Healthleaders Media reports about a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing on Tuesday at which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were "battered" about the ineffectiveness of Medicare anti-fraud measures.
A cornerstone of the nearly two-hour hearing included the release of a particularly negative report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which said CMS had allowed only 42 of 639 analysts to undergo training to use a database that was tailored to identify fraud and questionable claims worth $21 billion over 10 years.
Additionally, CMS has not incorporated any data from Medicaid claims, a major potential source of healthcare fraud and abuse, into the system, GAO charges.