What We're Reading: Orphan Drugs in 340B and the Hospital "Weekend Effect"

What we're reading, October 16, 2015: judge rules orphan drugs do not need to be sold at discount under 340B, hospitals can use resources at their disposal to overcome the "weekend effect," and AstraZeneca's diabetes combination drug fails to win FDA approval.

Orphan Drugs Excluded From 340B Program

A judge ruled that orphan drugs do not need to be sold at a discount to rural and cancer hospitals under the 340B drug discount program. While the pharmaceutical industry viewed the ruling as a victory, many hospitals say the decision could lead to higher prices for patients and could limit access to some medications, according to Modern Healthcare.

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Overcoming the “Weekend Effect” at Hospitals

Hospitals can overcome the so-called “weekend effect,” in which outcomes are worse for patients undergoing emergent/urgent surgeries on the weekend compared with weekdays, through the use of specific hospital resources, according to a study published in the Annals of Surgery. Resources that were predictors for overcoming the weekend effect include full adoption of electronic medical records, pain management programs, and an increased registered nurse-to-bed ratio.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1LS3QWH

New Diabetes Treatment Fails to Win Approval

The FDA declined to approve AstraZeneca Plc’s new diabetes treatment that combines 2 of its existing drugs, reported Bloomberg Business. Patients using the combination drug in a late-stage clinical trial were able to reduce their blood sugar levels more than with either drug alone, according to the company. Federal regulators have requested further data.

Read more: http://bloom.bg/1LS15Vq