Important pharmacy news and late-breaking industry information updated daily.

New research indicates that alirocumab (Praluent—Regeneron, Sanofi) reduced patients' risk of death by 15% in a major clinical trial. The study, reported at the conference of the American College of Cardiology, involved 18,000 high-risk patients who had uncontrolled cholesterol despite taking a maximum amount of statins.

Rates jumped 30% from July 2016–September 2017

Health insurer Cigna announced early Thursday that it has agreed to purchase Express Scripts in a $67 billion cash-and-stock deal, including the assumption of about $15 billion in debt. A deal between the two companies would follow the $69 billion acquisition of Aetna by CVS Health.

New data from U.S. emergency departments (EDs) reveal that the opioid epidemic continues to spread, according to the latest CDC <i>Vital Signs</i> report. Among about 91 million ED visits captured in CDC's National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) during July 2016&#8211;September 2017, there were a total of 142,557 suspected opioid overdoses.

Reports of inflammatory brain disorders in Europe lead to voluntary withdrawal

National Health Council educational program includes discussion of quality measures

Next meeting scheduled for June 20–21, 2018

Researchers from Emory University have detected "heteroresistance" to colistin in <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i>, a common "superbug" that is already highly resistant. Colistin is an antibiotic often administered to patients as a last resort against highly drug-resistant bacteria.

FDA reminded consumers Friday to be cautious with unapproved products claiming to prevent, treat, or cure influenza. "We understand the toll this year's flu season has taken on peoples' lives," noted FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

FDA issued a warning Thursday not to use drug products, including opioid products and other drugs intended for sterile injection, that were produced by Cantrell Drug Company of Little Rock, AR, and distributed nationwide.