FDA moves on superbugs, Pfizer’s R&D shrinks and no one is ready if Obamacare crumbles (Morning Read)

The Morning Read provides a 24-hour wrap up of everything else healthcare’s innovators need to know about the business of medicine (and beyond). The author of The Read published it but all full-time MedCity News journalists contribute to its content. TOP STORIES Fast action on superbugs from the FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration […]

The Morning Read provides a 24-hour wrap up of everything else healthcare’s innovators need to know about the business of medicine (and beyond). The author of The Read published it but all full-time MedCity News journalists contribute to its content.

TOP STORIES

Fast action on superbugs from the FDA.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to speed label changes for medical devices linked to a “superbug” outbreak in California, possibly to include new warnings and more stringent cleaning and disinfecting instructions, a senior official said.

Cleveland Clinic: The health insurance company.

Pfizer is cutting R&D – again. From FierceBiotech: “The company has been cutting back while readjusting its R&D group to better match its pipeline focus. Pfizer says it will also make some new hires for immuno-oncology and gene therapy, two fields where it recently completed major deals.”

The UK is the first country to approve the creation of babies from three people. The first child could be born in 2016.

LIFE SCIENCE

Venture capitalists like life sciences companies more than ever because the “underlying research has advanced significantly.”

Boston Scientific is close to buying Endo International’s AMS medical device unit.

Hospira and Celltrion will on Wednesday launch cut-rate versions of its anti-inflammatory drugs in Europe.

A nice win for Endo Pharmaceuticals – it’s Belbucca strip will get an FDA review (affirming its partnership with BioDelivery Sciences and its technology delivery pain relief through the cheek).

SynerZ Medical got fresh capital to advance its alternative to gastric bypass surgery.

Shire has bought Meritage for $70 million.

A $2.5 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson over Risperdal.

British doc’s wants Roche’s Avastin to be used for Macular Degeneration.

TearScience has a new CEO: Joseph Boorady.

Martin Shkreli is out as CEO of Retrophin. “It became increasingly clear to everyone inside and outside Retrophin that Shrkrei was overwhelmed. His inability to focus, move important tasks forward — and let’s be honest, his immaturity — were hurting the company’s future. Investors were losing confidence.”

Vigilant Biosciences closes $5.5 million series B round of funding.

AstraZeneca has signed a collaboration with UK-based Orca Pharmaceuticals to develop drugs against a wide range of autoimmune diseases.

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

A new study about women in academic medical centers shows there’s very little progress in almost every way.

Blue plans are cheaper than other plans when customers go out of network.

Maryland’s independent hospitals are throwing into together.

Californians hit by the Anthem breach: 13.5 million.

Healthgrades has announced its top hospitals for 2015 – but it’s not U.S. News so no big deal.

Kaiser Permanente is still coming up short on mental health access.

Are HIV drugs for gay men the equal of birth-control pills for women?

TECH

American Well has jerry-rigged a Microsoft Surface Pro to create the “Telemed Tablet.”

AmeriHealth District of Columbia will experiment with text messages to improve adhere with its asthma patients.

POLITICS

A bevy of Obamacare updates:

  • No one has a backup plan. “We know of no administrative actions that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our healthcare system that would be caused by an adverse decision,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a letter to Congress on Tuesday.
  • IRS will allow people to keep extra money from ObamaCare tax error.
  • The number of uninsured has dropped by 3.5 percent.

A LITTLE EXTRA

“The AIDS pandemic results from a single spillover of what was a chimpanzee virus, from one chimpanzee to one human, in the southeastern corner of Cameroon back around 1908, give or take a margin of error.”

Journalist David Quammen, discussing the revelations of his new book, “The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged From an African Forest.”

[Photo of a hospital ward in Sainte Adresse in Le Havre, France, (November 1914) from Flickr user James Morley]