Industry News Archive

  • FDA Approves Ibrutinib in Combination with Rituximab for CLL or SLL

    On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indication of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) to include its combination with rituximab for the initial treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).

    This review was conducted under Project Orbis, an initiative of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. 

    Read the FDA announcement.

    Posted 4/21/2020



  • CMS Issues Guidance for Some Facilities to Re-Start Non-Essential Services

    On April 19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance for facilities in areas with a low, or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19, to resume providing non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare services. Many non-essential surgeries and procedures have been curtailed since March 18 when the agency recommended that facilities limit non-essential care to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and prepare for potential surge areas.

    The CMS guidance references the White House plan for Opening Up America, released on Friday, April 17. The agency's guidance titled, Opening Up America Again, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Recommendations Re-opening Facilities to Provide Non-emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare: Phase I, notes that "if states or regions have passed the Gating Criteria (symptoms, cases, and hospitals) announced on April 16, 2020, then they may proceed to Phase I."

    Access the CMS guidance.

    Posted 4/20/2020
     


  • FDA Approves Tucatinib in Combination for Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

    On April 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tukysa (tucatinib) in combination with chemotherapy (trastuzumab and capecitabine) for the treatment of adult patients with advanced forms of HER2-positive breast cancer that can’t be removed with surgery, or has spread to other parts of the body, including the brain, and who have received one or more prior treatments.

    Read FDA announcement.


    Posted 4/17/2020


  • White House Guidance Suggests Phased-In Approach for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

    On Thursday, April 16, the White House released guidance for a phased-in approach for easing social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions instituted in response to the novel coronavirus-19. In a call with state governors on Thursday, President Trump said that each state can determine its own plan for reopening, and that the White House three-phase plan titled, "Guidelines: Opening Up America Again," was intended to serve as general guidance and was not a mandate.

    Some state governors are starting to lay out forward-looking scenarios. However, state governors remain concerned about relaxing stay-at-home restrictions too early, before there is the capacity to clearly identify who is sick and where.


    Posted 4/17/2020


  • BMS Expands Patient Support Programs for Newly Uninsured Patients in the U.S.

    Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is expanding its patient support programs to help unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients will be able to immediately access their medicines through one single point of entry and all BMS-branded medicines will be free (see list). The program will be in effect for six months, after which, patients who are currently enrolled may continue on the program until they have insurance.

    Read the press release.


    4/17/2020


  • FDA Approves Eltrombopag 25-mg Powder for Suspension Package Size

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration approved Promacta® (eltrombopag) 25-mg powder for suspension package size on March 23, 2020.

    Read corporate announcement.


    4/17/2020


  • COVID-19 Program on Vidscrip Platform

    Video Platform for COVID-19 Patient Communications is now available, sponsored by AstraZeneca.

    In an effort to support healthcare professionals during this unprecedented time and provide an efficient way, to address the overwhelming influx of calls and emails from patients with questions and concerns about COVID-19, AstraZeneca is sponsoring a healthcare technology company called Vidscrip, through June 30, 2020, or until such time as the COVID-19 virus is no longer a US public health emergency.

    This program enables healthcare professionals to use their own computer to record short videos that answer questions to common COVID-19 questions and then share those videos with their patients through their web page, or through direct links to their patient’s phone via a personalized email or text message.

    For more information visit www.vidscrip.com/COVID19 or text “COVIDAZUS” to 73771.


    4/16/2020


  • Trastuzumab-dttb, Biosimilar of Herceptin, Launches on U.S. Market

    On April 15, Merck announced the U.S. launch of Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb), as a biosimilar of the reference biologic medicine Herceptin. Ontruzant is available in both 150 mg single-dose vials and 420 mg multiple-dose vials, according to the company press release. 

    Read company announcement.

    4/15/2020 



  • IMFINZI® ES-SCLC National Broadcast

    Tuesday, April 21
    7:30 PM ET or 9:30 PM ET

    This national broadcast program includes a 45-minute presentation followed by a Q & A session. Preregistration is required. Click here for details. 

    4/14/2020


  • CMS Issues Guidance on Payer COVID-19 Coverage

    On April 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance for implementation of the requirement for group health plans and group and individual health insurance to cover both COVID-19 diagnostic testing and certain related items and services provided during a medical visit with no cost sharing. This includes urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and in-person or telehealth visits to the doctor’s office that result in an order for or administration of a COVID-19 test. Covered COVID-19 tests include all FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic tests, COVID-19 diagnostic tests that developers request authorization for on an emergency basis, and COVID-19 diagnostic tests developed in and authorized by states.

    The guidance also ensures that COVID-19 antibody testing will be covered. When a COVID-19 antibody test becomes widely available, it could become a key element in fighting the pandemic.

    Access the guidance

    4/13/2020




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