✦ Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota said on March 4 that it’s suing Vyera Pharmaceuticals and its infamous former CEO Martin Shkreli, claiming they “intentionally monopolized the pharmaceutical market for Daraprim in order to increase prices by more than 4,000 percent.” Daraprim is the leading treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be fatal for patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or compromised immune systems. Vyera, formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals, hiked the per-pill price for Daraprim from $17.50 to $750 after purchasing the rights to the drug in 2015, the Blues plan noted in a press release. Shkreli, dubbed the “Pharma Bro” by some media outlets, is currently serving a prison term after being found guilty of securities fraud. Read more at https://n.pr/3est69e.
✦ As the world struggled to fight the coronavirus in 2020, the FDA was unable to complete more than 1,000 of its planned drug inspections “and will likely face a backlog of inspections in future years,” according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published March 4. The report noted that the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic “used alternative inspection tools to oversee drug manufacturing quality,” but “these are not a comprehensive or long-term substitute for inspections.” Read more at https://bit.ly/3rx3oE6.