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May 11, 2020

Around the nation: Drugmaker settles price fixing allegations for $24M

Daily Briefing

    According to the Department of Justice, Apotex as part of a settlement agreement has admitted that it worked with other drug companies to fix the price of its cholesterol drug pravastatin from 2013 to 2015, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and New York.

    • California: Grant Colfax, director of San Francisco's Department of Public Health, last week urged residents not to visit their mothers on Mother's Day, warning that the interactions could contribute to the new coronavirus' spread even if people wore masks and stayed six feet apart. "The numbers [of new coronavirus infections] are still going up," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Wednesday, adding, "[W]e have not lowered the curve, and we have to be mindful of that" (Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 5/7).
    • District of Columbia: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday announced that generic drugmaker Apotex as part of a settlement agreement has admitted to inflating the price of the cholesterol drug pravastatin and to working with other drug companies to fix the price of the drug from 2013 to 2015. DOJ said Apotex also has agreed to pay $24.1 million to settle criminal charges related to the matter (Benner, New York Times, 5/7; DOJ release, 5/7).
    • New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday said new data shows that New York health care workers have tested positive for antibodies for the new coronavirus at a lower rate than the general public in the state. In New York City, for instance, 20% of the general public has tested positive for the antibodies, compared with 12% of health care workers. Public health experts say the presence of antibodies to the new coronavirus indicates that a person already was infected with the virus. Cuomo said the data goes against officials' expectations that more health care workers have been infected with the virus than other state residents and suggests that protective equipment protocols for health care workers are generally effective at protecting them against infection (Voytko, Forbes, 5/7).

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