Senate Democrats are preparing a new push for legislation to allow the government to negotiate drug prices for the Medicare program. A House bill approved in January would require such negotiations, but the Senate plan would only lift the existing ban on negotiations.
An FDA memo said proposed prescription painkillers should fill an unmet medical need for patients who have no other safer options. The staff view was released in advance of an advisory panel meeting to consider Merck's Arcoxia, a drug in the same class as Vioxx. The FDA said it assumes all prescription NSAIDs carry an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
Abbott Laboratories offered to cut the price of its AIDS drug Kaletra in developing nations, including Thailand. Earlier this year, Thailand announced it would break the Kaletra patent, and Abbott responded by suspending the introduction of any new drugs in the country, a decision the firm says it will not reverse.