RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/11/2016

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Congress May Take On Inversions
Mary Ellen McIntire, Morning Consult
Congress may try, but likely won’t act on inversions quickly enough to stop Pfizer and Allergan from creating the largest ever pharmaceutical company this year.

Drugmakers Raise Prices Despite Criticisms
Peter Loftus, W.S. Journal
Drugmakers didn’t let up on price increases with the start of a new year, demonstrating the industry’s pricing power in the face of mounting criticisms of prescription costs in the U.S.

Pfizer Hikes Prices for Over 100 Drugs on Jan. 1
Deena Beasley, Reuters
Pfizer Inc, which plans a $160-billion merger with Ireland-based Allergan Plc to slash its U.S. tax bill, on Jan. 1 raised U.S. prices for more than 100 of its drugs, some by as much as 20 percent, according to statistics compiled by global information services company Wolters Kluwer.

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How Valeant Doubled Sales of Old Drug
Weinberg & Langreth, Bloomberg
No wonder investors once loved Michael Pearson. In short order, he managed to double sales of Wellbutrin XL, the popular antidepressant, even though far cheaper generics were out there.

Big Insurer Defections Signal AHIP's Fading Clout
Bob Herman, MH
Aetna's departure from AHIP months after UnitedHealth Group bolted is further evidence that the large national insurers are increasingly happy to fight their own battles on Capitol Hill, such as shepherding their pending mega-mergers and negotiating changes to the ACA marketplaces.

Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine
Noam Scheiber, NYT
An Oregon medical center’s plan to increase efficiency by outsourcing doctors drove a group of its hospitalists to fight back by banding together.

Tax Error Complicates Insurance Subsidies
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP
About 1.4 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law failed to properly account for it on their tax returns last year, putting their subsidies at risk if they want to keep coverage.

Senate Dems Call to Revisit Gun Violence Research
Jordain Carney, Hill
Senate Democrats are asking the Appropriations Committee to look into restoring federal funding for studying gun violence.

NIH Tries to Avoid Ghosts of Its Past
Sheila Kaplan, Stat
The National Institutes of Health is preparing to recruit 1 million volunteers for one of its most significant research projects in years, one meant to develop personalized medical treatments. As it does so, officials are trying to dodge the ghosts of a similarly ambitious research initiative, one that ended with a whimper: the National Children’s Study.

Adding the Patient Voice to Drug Development
Sarah Karlin, Politico
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the need to incorporate patient voices into clinical trials and drug development. Patrick-Lake thinks patients can truly have a voice — but more work is needed to translate industry’s words into action.

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