Specialty and biologically engineered medicines have been a boon to millions of Americans with life-threatening and life-altering conditions. But their lofty prices are squeezing patients and payers and spawning a growing legislative backlash that threatens insurers and employer-based health plans.
Taken together, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema — affect nearly 50 million Americans, or about 15% of the total U.S. population, according to statistics from such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Drug Store News recently talked with COPD Foundation founder and president John Walsh about the organization’s new leadership. In March, the COPD Foundation took over leadership for Drive4COPD, which aims to screen people for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a collective term for emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which the group estimates to affect 24 million Americans who may have it but don’t know it.
Legislation proposed in the House of Representatives would speed up Food and Drug Administration approval of knock-off versions of vaccines and other biologics while requiring the agency to conduct more inspections of drug factories overseas, according to published reports.
Faced with the possibility of a critical cutoff in funding for the Food and Drug Administration, Congress moved in late May to reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act that provides the bulk of the agency’s resources for new-drug review and approval.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a branded acne drug made by Ranbaxy Labs, the drug maker said. Ranbaxy announced the FDA approval of Absorica (isotretinoin), a drug for treating severe recalcitrant nodular acne.