Judge allows class-action lawsuit against Walgreen over generic drug prices to go forward; the United States may implement medical deliveries by drone; House introduces its right-to-try legislation.
Walgreen has been accused of overcharging customers for generic drugs purchased using private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. According to Reuters, the company is being accused of charging insured customers more for generic drugs than it charged members of Walgreen’s Prescription Savings Club. Plaintiffs claimed that the company misled their insurers by reporting higher prices, and that they had believed that by having insurance they would pay at least the same amount as direct-pay customers. The federal judge did dismiss 2 of the 29 claims.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently reviewing 149 proposals, many of which are health-related, on how to integrate drones into the national airspace. In the United States, it has to be determined that the drones can fly safely alongside commercial jets and anything else that is already in the sky, NPR reported. Among the proposals submitted to the FAA is one from the University of Washington in Seattle to test carrying blood samples over the Puget Sound.
In August 2017, the Senate passed right-to-try legislation, and the House is now moving to pass its own version. The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a new version of the bill, which requires patients to have exhausted all approved treatment options and use a drug that has passed a stage 1 clinical trial, according to The Wall Street Journal. Although Congress is interested in passing a right-to-try bill, and the White House has been a proponent, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, has been skeptical of the benefits of right-to-try legislation.