What we're reading, August 18, 2016: California drug price transparency bill gets pulled; researchers work on a new opioid painkiller without the addiction; and the need for more diversity in genetic sequencing.
A California senator has withdrawn his bill that would require drug makers explain steep price hikes. According to STAT, the bill was killed because amendments made last week had gutted the legislation and made it difficult to accomplish the goal of the bill. If passed, the bill would have required drug makers report price increases of more than 10% during any 12-month period and these price increases would have to be justified for medicines that had a list price of more than $10,000. The senator that first introduced the bill hopes to reintroduce it at a later point.
Researchers are trying to create a new opioid painkiller that does not cause addiction that leads to deadly overdoses. Scientists have discovered PZM21, a chemical that turns the opioid receptor on without negative effects, according to NPR. Testing has found mice had a pain reduction without seeming to get high. However, the researchers encourage that while the findings are encouraging, the compounds being worked on might not be the answer to the opioid epidemic.
Genetic testing may be more common, but the accuracy of these test results vary based on ethnicity. A new study found that there is a greater need for diversity in genomic research in order to interpret ethnic differences, reported Kaiser Health News. The New England Journal of Medicine published research that showed that even for new genomic data projects that have diverse populations there is still a need for data from Native Americans and Asian Americans.