Trending News Today: Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger Delayed

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

A year ago, it was revealed that hospitals had increased prices by 1000%, which caused public outrage. Despite the criticism and negative publicity, the 20 costliest hospitals in Florida did not feel pressure to decrease their prices. According to The Wall Street Journal, these hospitals actually charged significantly more after the negative publicity than before.

The latest drug price increase that has gained public and lawmaker attention is Iclusig, a chronic myeloid leukemia treatment manufactured by ARIAD Pharmaceuticals. The price increase nearly quadrupled to $200,000 in 2016, which was an increase of more than $80,000 over the last few years, The New York Times reported. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and US Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have begun looking into whether the manufacturer attempted to increase profits by changing dosing and quantities to charge more money for less medication.

Walgreens and Rite Aid have delayed their merger so the companies can divest in order to get the $9.4 billion merger approved by federal regulators. By the end of 2016, the companies estimate that they will sell 500 to 1000 stores, which is more than they previously estimated. The companies are both confident that they will receive approval from the federal government, according to The Wall Street Journal.