Morning Read: FDA greenlights Merck’s Hepatitis C drug aimed at lower price point

Also, Cambia Health Solutions is shutting down Wellero and HeartWare International nixed a deal to buy Valtech Cardio.

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images News

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images News

TOP STORIES

Merck’s Hepatitis C drug Zepatier has received FDA approval. About 3 million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. The company said it would sell its drug at a list price of $54,600 for a 12-week regimen, considerably less than Gilead Science’s treatment in the neighborhood of $94,500. The debate over Hepatitis drug prices has been part of a national debate on the issue.  — Reuters

Cambia Health Solutions has shut down its mobile health payment startup Wellero two years after it launched. The company’s app  allowed people to pay for healthcare services. —  HIT Consultant

LIFE SCIENCES

Medical device company HeartWare International walked away from a $929 million acquisition deal to acquire Israeli replacement heart valve manufacturer Valtech Cardio. — Mass Device, Boston Business Journal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Eisai’s drug Halaven to trea a type of soft tissue sarcoma called liposarcoma in cases where it cannot be removed through surgery or is in advanced stages.  — The Wall Street Journal

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

Tom Curran has been named Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of the one-year old Children’s Mercy Research Institute, effective Feb. 1. Curran previously worked for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as Deputy Scientific Director since 2006 and Director of Basic Scientific Research in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research since 2007. — KCUR 

Oregon financial regulators put Moda Health on notice. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation put the company into “supervision,” meaning all business decisions will have to cleared by state officials.  — The Oregonian

MidMichigan Health has agreed to use Epis Systems in a $55 million deal as part of a shift to a single electronic medical record system to connect its hospitals, doctors’ offices and outpatient care facilities. It had previously used Cerner and Allscripts. — Midland Daily News, HIStalk

In China, ticket scalpers werre doing brisk business until a police crackdown. Oh, not for concerts but for hospital appointments. Scalpers were arrested after a woman complained that scalpers wanted $650 for a registration ticket patients are required to buy to see a doctor or get hospital treatment that would usually go for about $45 .  — CNN

TECHNOLOGY

Quartet Health inked a multiyear deal with Steward Health Care Network, the second largest physician network in Massachusetts. It will offer its platform as a service to its providers and their patients. — Healthcare IT News

POLITICS

U.S. Sen. and candidate for president Bernie Sanders released a note from his doctor which noted a vocal cyst here, a little gout there but nonetheless said he was in “good health.” — STAT

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

Lego is releasing its first minifigure in a wheelchair. — NPR

Photo: Getty Images