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What We’re Reading: Lilly Diabetes Drug Shortage; Medicare Data Breach; New Model for Antibiotics


Eli Lilly is experiencing a shortage of the diabetes drug tirzepatide (Mounjaro); a data breach has caused over 200,000 Medicare enrollees to receive new identification cards; a restructuring of the current model for developing and selling antibiotics could be a solution to shortages and drug-resistant germs.

FDA Reports Diabetes Drug Shortage

Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) was added to the FDA’s list of drugs facing shortages, according to Reuters. The drug, produced by Eli Lilly and Co, was approved for treatment of diabetes in May and the company has thus far been unable to meet the growing demand for the new treatment. Eli Lilly has also seen shortages of its dulaglutide (Trulicity), according to the FDA. The company had previously admitted challenges in keeping up with the demand for the 2 drugs last week. Eli Lilly plans to double the manufacturing capacity for the drugs by the end of 2023.

Medicare Beneficiaries Receive New ID Cards

A data breach at a subcontractor has led to the compromised personal information of 254,000 Medicare beneficiaries, according to CNBC. These beneficiaries will need to be given new Medicare cards and identification numbers in the coming weeks. The 254,000 beneficiaries represent less than 0.4% of all Medicare beneficiaries. The announcement revealed that no CMS systems were breached and Medicare claims data were not involved. However, data including beneficiaries’ social security number, Medicare entitlement, Medicare beneficiary identifier, and enrollment information were potentially compromised. The data breach occurred on October 8, according to CMS.

Bill Would Create Federally Funded Antibiotics Model

Recent shortages of antibiotics have spurred talks about the restructuring of how antibiotics are developed and sold in the United States, according to The New York Times. The PASTEUR Act, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last year, would provide pharmaceutical companies an upfront payment for unlimited access to a drug when it is approved by the FDA—representing a “Netflix model.” Supporters of the bill “hope that prescribers will save new drugs for patients whose infections are resistant to existing medications” if profits are separated from sales volume.

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