Bristol Myers Squibb decides conspiracy lawsuit to block generic competition for HIV drugs; The FDA grants emergency use permit for a new exhalation test that can detect COVID-19 within 3 minutes; health savings accounts (HSAs) are used less efficiently by minority and low-income populations.
BMS settles lawsuit alleging anti-competitive agreements on HIV drugs
STATE reports that Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has agreed to pay up to $ 11 million to settle a lawsuit in which several drug manufacturers conspired to block generic competition for HIV drugs. The lawsuit, which also named Gilead Sciences and Johnson & Johnson, claimed that the companies undertook a “non-generic” scheme involving fixed-dose combinations of various HIV drugs that kept the prices of these drugs high. After 3 years of litigation, the settlement will effectively open the door to generic combinations, such as atazanavir and cobicistat (Evotaz), in the treatment of HIV.
FDA Approves COVID-19 Breathalyzer Test
The FDA granted emergency use permission for a new exhalation test that can detect COVID-19 within 3 minutes using gas chromatography and gas mass spectrometry to detect 5 compounds that are typically exhaled when humans are infected with the virus. CBS News reports that the InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer was shown in a study to identify 91.2% of positive COVID-19 cases among a total cohort of 2409 individuals with and without symptoms, with false positive results in 0.7% of participants. The test will only be available for testing by a qualified and trained operator under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Research suggests that health savings accounts can lead to health inequalities
The results of a study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute show that health savings accounts (HSAs), which are designed to be a tax advantage way for households with high deductible health schemes to save up on medical expenses. exacerbate existing health inequalities among minority and low-income populations who use accounts less efficiently. Compared to men, higher incomes and white and Asian savers, CNBC reports that black and Hispanic beneficiaries, as well as women and low-income individuals, do not take full advantage of the tax benefits that HSAs offer by contributing less money, having fewer balances, and investing less often.