Trending News Today: NIH Launches Partnership to Fund Opioid Research

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

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced it will be finalizing a public-private partnership that will fund new research focused on the opioid epidemic, according to STAT. The program was first announced in September 2017, but has yet to launch. The NIH said that the goal of the program was to develop non-addictive painkillers, new types of medication-assisted treatment, and vaccines that prevent the effects of heroin and fentanyl, according to the article.

The first patient with an inherited form of blindness has been treated with Luxturna, the recently-approved gene therapy, according to STAT. Due to the high cost of the treatment—$850,000 for both eyes—the manufacturer allows insurers to pay in installments; however, insurers also require evidence that the patient carries RPE65 genetic mutations, which cause blindness, according to the article.

Former Eli Lilly Chief Financial Officer Derica Rice has been chosen to run CVS Caremark while the chain is completing its acquisition of Aetna, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rice will take over the pharmacy benefit manager on March 30, 2018, and will succeed Jonathan Roberts, who is currently the chief operating officer of CVS Health, according to the article.