Trending News Today: WellCare to Acquire Meridian Health Plans for $2.5 Billion

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

Allergan is recalling 1 lot of Taytulla birth control pills due to out-of-order pills, STAT reported. According to the article, the first 4 pills in the 28-pill pack are inactive, putting women at risk of pregnancy. The blister packs should have contained pink capsules with oral contraceptive hormones for the first 24 days, followed by 4 days of maroon capsules without hormones. There are approximately 170,000 units in the lot of physician samples that was recalled and the sample packs had been distributed to physicians nationwide, the article reported.

On Tuesday, WellCare Health Plans Inc announced it would buy Meridian Health Plans of Michigan and Illinois for $2.5 billion in cash, Reuters reported. According to the article, the deal will add 1.07 million Medicaid members in Michigan and Illinois to WellCare, and it will include the acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager MeridianRx. Meridian’s businesses are expected to generate more than $4.3 billion in total revenue in 2018, the article reported.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La) is planning to soon introduce legislation mandating price transparency in health care to allow patients to compare prices before getting procedures, The Hill reported. According to the article, Cassidy said he also plans to introduce legislation on drug prices, including banning “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from informing patients when they could save money on a drug by not using insurance. Another idea put forth by Cassidy involves codifying a Trump administration regulation expanding cheaper, skimpier short-term insurance plans that do not need to meet Obamacare requirements, the article reported.