Issue 04-09-2018

Former GSK CEO chosen to head Optum

MINNEAPOLIS — UnitedHealth Group has tapped former GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) chief executive officer Sir Andrew Witty as the next CEO of Optum, its health services, technology and pharmacy benefits management unit. The appointment is effective July 1. Witty, 53, will succeed Larry Renfro, who is set to lead UnitedHealth Group’s enterprise growth efforts and Optum’s

Amazon said to hire ex-FDA staffer

SEATTLE — Amazon.com has hired Taha Kass-Hout, the Food and Drug Administration’s first chief health informatics officer, according to published reports. Kass-Hout will serve in a business development role with the company’s Amazon Grand Challenge team, the reports say, and will concentrate on developing projects for the health care market. His exact mission, like the

PBMs face tougher regulations in several states

NEW YORK — Pharmacy benefit managers have become the target of state legislation around transparency, with lawmakers attempting to increase regulation and protect patients. Lawmakers believe that increasing transparency within big PBMs would benefit the industry as well as patients through the institution of clear metrics and incentives that would be aligned with the services

Senators target ‘Rx gag clauses’

WASHINGTON — Three senators last month introduced legislation that they say will bring more transparency to prescription drug pricing. Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) introduced the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) and the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553), which would

Rite Aid finishes store transfers to WBA

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. has completed the transfer of 1,932 stores purchased by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. The transfer of three distribution centers and related inventory is expected to begin after September 1. The majority of the closing conditions of WBA’s $4.375 billion acquisition of the stores and warehouses have been satisfied,