Trending News Today: Hospital Groups Launch Generic Drug Company

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

Officials with the FDA have extended the review of Roche’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq) as a first-line treatment in combination therapy for metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Reuters reported. According to the article, atezolizumab, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel (Avastin), was granted priority review from the FDA in May. The treatment is already approved for previously treated metastatic NSCLC and for certain types of untreated or previously treated metastatic urothelial carcinoma. The FDA is expected to decide on the approval by December 5, the article reported.

Several major hospital groups have launched their own generic drug company to help mitigate chronic shortages and high drug prices, the Associated Press reported. According to the article, the new company, called Civica Rx, plans to start with 14 widely used hospital drugs that are consistently in short supply, which includes a mix of generic pills, patches, and injectable drugs for treating infections, pain, and heart conditions. The company also aims to reduce drug prices by approximately 20%, the article reported.

A new report has found that fentanyl overdose deaths in Alaska more than quadrupled last year, the Associated Press reported. According to the article, the Alaska State Troopers annual drug report showed that 37 individuals died of overdoses involving fentanyl and related synthetic opioids in Alaska in 2017, compared with 8 fentanyl-related deaths in 2016. Since 2012, Alaska has had one of the highest per-capita death rates in the United States for prescription opioid overdoses, the article reported.