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IN THE PIPELINE

Merck value rises after new Keytruda approvalMerck’s Wall Street value is climbing after its cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) received yet another approval from FDA.
PBM giants pare down drug expenses
PBM giants pare down drug expensesWhen Express Scripts and CVS Health announced their 2017 formularies on August 1, a common theme emerged among the healthcare giants: several blockbuster drugs will be removed from both companies’ formularies and lower-cost options such as biosimilars are being embraced.
Medicare drug pricing debate heats upA senator is investigating whether Medicare's prescription drug benefit is vulnerable to manipulation by pharmaceutical companies after an exclusive Associated Press report showed that Medicare’s spending on certain drugs soared by 85 percent.
Overtreating glucose levels can take a toll on diabetes patientsMayo Clinic researchers found that beyond overtesting, focus on HbA1C levels can lead to serious harms for patients, especially as more diabetes drugs are needed to keep HbA1C within desired targets.
New diabetes drug up against leading brandsFDA approved lixisenatide (Adlyxin, Sanofi-Aventis), a once-daily mealtime GLP-1 receptor agonist injection for type 2 diabetes, which will compete against the once-weekly pen dulaglutide (Trulicity, Eli Lilly) and the injectable liraglutide (Victoza, Novo Nordisk).
Wide geographic differences exist in treating diabetesA large-scale observational study led by Columbia University researchers may offer new approach to studying diverse patient groups.
FDA: Antibiotics class must carry warningFDA added new safety labeling changes for a class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Cipro and other branded drugs), to enhance warnings about their association with disabling and potentially permanent side effects. Plus, the new labeling says that the drugs’ use should be limited in patients with less serious bacterial infections.
FDA approves drug for pregnant women with HIVFDA recently approved an expansion to the prescribing information for darunavir (Prezista, Janssen Therapeutics), to treat pregnant women with HIV.
New weight management pill available soonFDA recently approved the New Drug Application (NDA) for (lorcaserin HCl) CIV extended-release 20 mg tablets (Belviq XR, Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals), a once-a day dosing option for chronic weight management.
Diabetes complications fuel rising costsMedication nonadherence and complications from type 2 diabetes is resulting in signficant economic and societal burdens in the U.S. and other countries, according to a new report.