Trending News Today: New Proposal Aims to Give Price Negotiation Leverage to Medicare Plans

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

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational cancer drug combination failed to meet the main goal of extending the lives of patients with lung cancer in a late-stage trial, Reuters reported. According to the article, the study was testing immunotherapy drug Opdivo in combination with Yervoy versus a placebo in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer whose disease had not progressed after chemotherapy. Earlier this year, the FDA extended the date by which it was expected to make an approval decision on the combination to treat a different form a lung cancer, the article reported.

The Trump administration announced a new proposal aimed at lowering prescription drug costs for seniors by giving Medicare plans leverage in price negotiations, The Hill reported. According to the article, the plan would allow insurers that participate in Medicare’s prescription drug program to exclude protected drugs if prices rise faster than inflation, as well as certain new drug formulations that are not a “significant innovation” over the original product. Trump officials said the proposal could save taxpayers $692 million over a decade, but patient advocacy groups expressed concern that the policies would restrict seniors’ access to medicine, the article reported.

CDC officials reported that 116 individuals have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis in the United States so far this year, the highest number of cases since 2016, according to Reuters. So far, Colorado reported 15 confirmed cases of the disease and Texas had 14, followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington state, and Minnesota, which had 8 cases, the article stated. In 2016, the CDC reported 149 confirmed cases, whereas there were 33 confirmed cases in 2017.