Trending News Today: Blood Pressure Drug Valsartan Prices Surge Following Recall

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Following a recall of the blood pressure drug valsartan, the cost for 2 doses of the medication rose more than any other drug in the United States in September, Reuters reported. According to the article, the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost survey for last month found that prices for 160 milligram and 80 milligram tablets of valsartan more than doubled last month from August rates. Chinese pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals recalled valsartan from consumers in the United States in July after finding traces of a probable carcinogen and the drug has been in shortage since August, the article reported.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that health care is “very important” to 71% of voters nationwide when deciding which Congressional candidate to vote for in the midterms, The Hill reported. According to the article, among those who said health care is the “most important” issue to them, 24% specifically cited the costs of health care and prescription drugs. Additionally, 69% of Florida voters and 68% of Nevada voters said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to maintain protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, the article reported.

Officials with the FDA have rejected Novartis’ bid to repurpose a drug used to treat rare inflammatory diseases for heart attack patients, Reuters reported. According to the article, Novartis had submitted a bid to the agency to make canakinumab (Ilaris), a targeted therapy for cardiovascular patients who had quickly responded to treatment. Despite the FDA’s rejection, Novartis said phase 3 canakinumab trials in non-small cell lung cancer would continue and are due to be completed by 2022, the article reported.