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

FDA officials said Friday there is a shortage of valsartan products in the United States amid the ongoing investigation into impurities in some batches of angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) medicines. The nitrosamine impurities, including N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), are probable human carcinogens.

FDA has reintroduced the epinephrine inhalation aerosol, the only OTC metered-dose inhaler, in a new version containing hydrofluoroalkane propellants, which are safer for the environment.

A Bloomberg analysis of Medicaid prescriptions at independent pharmacies in the state of New York concludes that PBMs are taking increasingly large markups on generic drugs.

Some outside lobbying groups engaged in the political battle over prescription drug prices are going to great lengths to disguise their ties to the drug industry. The operations of these groups often dovetail with work by corporate lobbying shops. Most, but not all, disclose industry funding sources on their websites.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to pay more than $269 million to settle federal and state lawsuits that accused it of overbilling federal health care programs.

FDA announced that it’s moving forward to remove barriers and make it easier for drug manufacturers to develop naloxone OTC. FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the effort is part of an overall strategy to increase access to the opioid overdose antidote and reduce opioid overdose deaths. 

A new Trump administration policy proposal to be published this week in the Federal Register could result in higher costs for consumers who use brand-name prescription drugs when cheaper alternatives are available. Health insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act would have annual limits on consumers' out-of-pocket costs.

New study raises a red flag about appropriate antibiotic use

Drug manufacturers have sharply increased prices of some older, low-cost prescription medicines amid supply shortages and recalls. For example, at least three sellers of the widely used blood-pressure medication valsartan have raised prices since a series of safety-related recalls of the drug by other manufacturers began in the summer of 2018.

FDA has approved the first generic version of the anti-seizure medication vigabatrin (Sabril—Lundbeck).