Trending News Today: Cancer Drug Lab Shut Down, Deemed Unsuitable for Production

Top news from across the health care landscape.

During UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s first quarter earning conference, Chief Executive Stephen J. Hemsley announced the company’s reduction in presence from 34 states this year to a “handful” in 2017, reported The Wall Street Journal. “(The) smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis,” Hemsley said in the report. UnitedHealth recently projected an even greater loss on the 2016 exchange business from approximately $525 million to $650 million.

On Tuesday, Express Scripts Holding Co denied Anthem Inc’s allegations that they were overcharging the health insurer giant for prescription drugs. The Wall Street Journal reported that Anthem sued Express Scripts in March for $15 billion in damages, alleging that the pharmacy-benefit manager violated a contract by refusing to renegotiate drug prices, as well as failing to meet certain operational duties.

The production of clinical drugs being developed at 2 laboratories was shut down by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Wall Street Journal reported. An internal inquiry found the labs not in compliance with quality and safety standards. One lab from the National Cancer Institute and another from the National Institute of Mental Health were found to be unsuitable for the production of the sterile or infused drugs used in clinical studies. Despite this shut down, NIH hopes to have the laboratories up and running again soon.