January 25, 2021

Around the nation: FDA approves the first injectable treatment for HIV

Daily Briefing

    FDA on Thursday approved Cabenuva, a monthly two-shot treatment for HIV infection that marks the first injectable treatment for the virus, potentially replacing pills that have to be taken daily, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and Washington.

    • Connecticut: CVS Health has named Kyu Rhee as SVP and CMO of Aetna. Rhee previously served as VP and chief health officer of IBM and as chief public health officer at Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as director of innovation at NIH. Rhee's role will focus on overseeing Aetna's clinical capabilities, as well as the design and implementation of integrated health care management and population health strategies (Reed, Fierce Healthcare, 1/21; Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/21).
    • District of Columbia: FDA on Thursday approved Cabenuva, a two-shot treatment for HIV infection that marks the first injectable treatment for the virus, potentially replacing pills that have to be taken daily with monthly shots. The treatment combines a drug developed by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit, called rilpivirine, and a new drug from ViiV Healthcare, called cabotegravir. People eligible for the treatment will first have to take an oral form of cabotegravir and rilpivirine for one month, before switching over to monthly shots, to ensure they can tolerate the drugs. According to ViiV Healthcare, the combo will cost $5,940 for the first dose and $3,960 a month after that (Silverman, STAT News, 1/21; Marchione, Associated Press, 1/21).
    • Washington: Amazon on Thursday announced it will open a pop-up clinic at its headquarters in their Seattle headquarters which, on its first day, plans to vaccinate 2,000 members of the public eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. The clinic, which will open on Jan. 24, will be operated in partnership with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and with Washington's Vaccine Command Center (Ponnezhath, Reuters, 1/21).
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