Trending News Today: Cigna-Express Scripts Deal to Face Justice Department Review

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

A new gene therapy has shown promise for treating patients with beta-thalassemia in a recent study, NPR reported. According to the article, 15 of 22 patients with the genetic disorder who received the gene therapy were able to stop or sharply reduce the regular blood transfusions they needed. Bluebird Bio, the company developing the treatment, plans to seek approval for the drug in Europe by the end of year, NPR reported.

Cigna Corp’s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Express Scripts Holding Co will be reviewed by the US Department of Justice, Bloomberg reported. Cigna agreed in March to acquire Express Scripts, suggesting that the combination can reduce costs and improve benefits for Americans by simplifying the health care supply chain, according to the article. The Justice Department has successfully blocked 2 previous health insurance deals, suing to prevent Aetna from buying Humana Inc and to keep Anthem Inc from acquiring Cigna, Bloomberg reported.

A group of senators is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to take measures to reduce the price of a naloxone, a potentially life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, according to The Hill. The article stated that Sens Angus King (I-Maine), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), and 13 Democratic senators signed a letter from Sen Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) to call on the HHS to negotiate a cheaper price for naloxone.