What We're Reading: Novartis Buys Cholesterol Drugmaker; Imported Prescription Drugs; Excess Weight Affects Flu Shot Efficacy

November 25, 2019

Novartis AG announced their purchase agreement with cholesterol drugmaker Medicines Company; Trump is set to allow state importation of prescription drugs to curb rising drug prices; flu shot efficacy was found to be worse in people who are overwight, obese.

Novartis Acquires Cholesterol Drugmaker

Trump to Allow State Importation of Prescription Drugs

Novartis AG announced yesterday their agreement to buy cholesterol drugmaker Medicines Company for approximately $10 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Medicines, a company based out of Parsippany, New Jersey, is currently developing inclinsiran, a novel therapy that takes a different approach to PCSK9 inhibition than current therapies for patients whose low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is not sufficiently lowered by statins alone. Once completed, the transaction can expand Novartis’ influence for heart treatments. Novartis will pay the cholesterol drugmaker nearly 24% above their current market value, amid positive data from the recent American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. President Trump announced on Friday he will release a plan to allow Florida and other states to import prescription medications to curb rising drug prices, according to Reuters. Drug companies have vehemently opposed the plan, which the administration argues would increase competition. US prescription drug costs are the highest worldwide, as drug companies are allowed to freely set their prices in the United States, while other countries negotiate pricing directly with manufacturers.

Diminished Flu Vaccination Efficacy in People Overweight, Obese

Flu vaccination efficacy was found to be less effective in people who are overweight or obese, leaving nearly two-thirds of the US adult population at a higher risk for influenza, according to NPR. Researchers announced they were studying cases linked to individuals distinguished as overweight/obese, who were starkly involved in the 2009 flu pandemic. Among this demographic, spreading the disease is heightened as well, due to the virus coming out more prominently in the breath of those who have excess weight.