Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Bristol-Myers Squibb released mixed results from its clinical trials testing immunotherapy nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with either chemotherapy or ipilimumab (Yervoy) for advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Reuters reported. According to the article, nivolumab in combination with chemotherapy failed to extend overall survival (OS) more than chemotherapy alone. However, nivolumab did demonstrate an improvement in OS in combination with ipilimumab in patients with NSCLC whose tumors expressed at least 1% of the PD-L1 protein that the drug is designed to target, the article reported.
New recommendations set by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reinforce the need for universal hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening for all pregnant women and vaccinations for newborns, MD Magazine reported. According to the article, the USPSTF found substantial evidence that universal prenatal screening for HBV infection significantly reduces perinatal transmission and the subsequent development of chronic infection. Overall, they did not find evidence that HBV screenings harm pregnant women, concluding that the net benefit of HBV screenings is substantial with high certainty, the article reported.
The Senate Committee on Finance unveiled bipartisan legislation to increase transparency and address high drug costs for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, the bill, “Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019,” includes a proposed restructuring of the Part D benefit and would require drug manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare if their price increases surpass inflation rate. The Part D redesign would eliminate the coverage gap and initiate 25% cost sharing between the annual deductible and the catastrophic threshold starting in 2022, the article reported.