Tongli drugs listed as ‘needed medicines’ in China
HARBIN, China A Chinese drug maker has had three of its drugs included in the country’s list of needed medicines, including one for treating diabetes, now on the rise in the country.
Tongli Pharmaceuticals, based in the far northern Chinese city of Harbin, announced Wednesday that its metformin hydrochloride, gluconate oral liquid and clindamycin hydrochloride had been included in China’s Essential Drug List, meaning that government-sponsored health programs will help cover their cost.
In particular, Tongli expects to see a 25% increase in sales of metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes and designated by the International Diabetes Federation as a front-line medicine for the disease.
Pfizer suspends more tanezumab trials
NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer is suspending some clinical studies of a biotech drug for treating pain following reports of harmful side effects in patients, Pfizer said Monday.
The drug maker halted studies of the drug tanezumab in patients with chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.
Pfizer said the suspension follows further consideration of reports of harmful side effects in osteoarthritis patients taking the drug. The company already had suspended the osteoarthritis study of tanezumab in June.
PCMA responds to government funding anti-fraud programs
WASHINGTON The leader of a group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers responded to a House subcommittee’s decision to allot $561 million for programs designed to combat fraud, waste and abuse.
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said the decision shows “it’s more important than ever to enhance America’s overall program integrity capabilities.” The money was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Justice Department.
“The administration has noted that these kinds of efforts can save almost $10 billion,” Merritt said. “The other side of the anti-fraud coin is that policymakers must reject policies that inadvertently weaken the ability of public and private payers to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. It’s far easier to prevent fraud than to engage in ‘pay and chase’ activities after the fact.”