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July 12, 2022

Around the nation: HRA Pharma seeks FDA approval for first over-the-counter birth control pill

Daily Briefing

    HRA Pharma on Monday asked FDA for permission to sell a birth control pill over the counter for the first time, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New York, and Utah.

    • District of Columbia: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an announcement from his spokesperson, Justin Goodman. This week, Schumer plans to work remotely while the Senate prepares to return from its recess. Schumer, who is fully vaccinated and double-boosted, "has very mild symptoms," Goodman said. "Anyone who knows Leader Schumer knows that even if he's not physically in the Capitol, through virtual meetings and his trademark flip phone he will continue with his robust schedule and remain in near-constant contact with his colleagues," he added. (Axios, 7/10)
    • New York: HRA Pharma on Monday asked FDA for permission to sell an over-the-counter birth control pill for the first time—a move the drugmaker said was not related to the Supreme Court's recent decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. HRA's application contains years of research meant to convince FDA that women are capable of safely screening themselves for the risks associated with the pill and using the pill effectively. "For a product that has been available for the last 50 years, that has been used safely by millions of women, we thought it was time to make it more available," said Frederique Welgryn, HRA's chief strategy officer. If HRA's application is approved, its pill could be available over the counter by next year. Notably, FDA's approval would only apply to HRA's pill, which would be sold under its original brand name, Opill. (AP/STAT News, 7/11)
    • Utah: Intermountain Healthcare named Craig Richardville as its new chief digital and information officer—a role he is stepping into after Intermountain completed its merger with SCL Health in April. Richardville, who served as SCL Health's chief information and digital officer, will serve as SVP for the merged health system, operating under the Intermountain name. His new role holds many of the same responsibilities as his previous role, where he oversaw IT innovation and digital transformation. According to a news release announcing his hire, Richardville will lead the health system's "information technology, data and digital services involving all aspects of technology including, but not limited to, strategy, operations, applications, cybersecurity, and emerging technology." (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 7/8)

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