In an era when legislators, pharmacy benefit managers and others continue to protest the high cost of hepatitis C drugs, new drugs to treat the disease are welcomed. FDA recently approved ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir tablets co-packaged with dasabuvir tablets (Viekira XR, AbbVie) to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 (GT1) infection, including those with cirrhosis. AbbVie already markets Viekira Pak, which competes with Harvoni and Sovaldi (Gilead Sciences).
A senator is investigating whether Medicare's prescription drug benefit is vulnerable to manipulation by pharmaceutical companies after an exclusive Associated Press report showed that Medicare’s spending on certain drugs soared by 85 percent.
FDA added new safety labeling changes for a class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Cipro and other branded drugs), to enhance warnings about their association with disabling and potentially permanent side effects. Plus, the new labeling says that the drugs’ use should be limited in patients with less serious bacterial infections.