What We're Reading: Pharmacists Can Prescribe Birth Control in Oregon, California

What we're reading, November 23, 2015: Oregon and California both pass laws that authorize pharmacists to prescribe birth control; the US and Europe are approving more drugs; and Turing discounts Daraprim just 50% and only for hospitals.

Oregon, California Authorize Pharmacists to Prescribe Birth Control

Pharmacists in Oregon and California will now be able to prescribe birth control to women without a doctor’s prescription. The states will authorize pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives after women fill out a questionnaire about their health and medical histories. The new legislation will provide easier access to birth control to millions of women. New Mexico and Nevada could follow, according to The New York Times.

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More Drugs Being Approved in the US and Europe

The United States and Europe have been busy with drug approvals this year. In 2015, the FDA has already approved 38 novel drugs, which is more than the 34 at the same time a year ago. The total of 41 drugs approved in 2014 was an 18-year high that the FDA looks prepared to surpass. Meanwhile the European Medicines Agency has recommended a total of 84 drugs, which is up from the 75 drugs at the same time last year.

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Turing Will Only Give 50% Discount on Daraprim to Hospitals

After public outrage over the news that Turing Pharmaceuticals AG had raised the price of a decades-old medication from $13.50 to $750, the company had promised to reduce the price. Now, Turing has announced it will discount the drug as much as 50% to hospitals, which will mean Daraprim still costs hospitals far more than before Turing raised the price more than 5000% overnight. In addition, the discount will not be given to patients who keep taking the drug after leaving the hospital, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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