Trending News Today: Multiple Sclerosis Drug Patent Dispute Settled

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

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that if Congress repeals major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but left other parts in place, 18 million individuals would lose their health insurance within 1 year, while individual insurance premiums would skyrocket. If Republicans are unable to replace the health care law with a new comprehensive plan, 32 million people could lose their health insurance by 2026, The New York Times reported. Sen Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Finance Committee, said that these figures only represent part of the equation. “Republicans support repealing Obamacare and implementing step-by-step reforms so that Americans have access to affordable health care,” Hatch said in the report. According to the Times, last week, Congress approved a budget that “clears the way for speedy action to repeal the health care law.” The budget cleared the Senate by a vote of 51 to 48 and cleared the House by a vote of 227 to 198. However, Republicans have yet to agree on a replacement bill.

Biogen Inc settled a patent dispute with Forward Pharma over its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, according to The Wall Street Journal. Biogen will pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion in cash in exchange for an irrevocable license to all of Forward’s intellectual property. The patent infringement case by the Danish biotech company alleged that Biogen infringed on its patent related to the 450 mg dosage of the key ingredient dimethyl fumarate in the Tecfidera drug, Investopedia reported. On Tuesday, Biogen shares fell slightly, but outperformed the biotech sector, the Journal reported.

In the latest quarter, UnitedHealth Group Inc reported a 56% increase in profit, a figure that topped their projected forecast. According to The Wall Street Journal, the numbers were fueled by growth in the company’s core insurance unit and Optum health services arm, as well as a reduced impact from the money-losing ACA business. UnitedHealth reported a net income of $1.90 billion ($1.96 a share), compared with $1.22 billion ($1.26) in the year-ago quarter, according to the Journal.