STAT+: Pharmalittle: Pfizer to exit consumer-health joint venture with GSK; access to obesity drugs in U.S. remains ‘dismal’

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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is, despite the cloudy skies looming over the Pharmalot campus. After all, the birds are still chirping and a cool breeze is wafting by. Moreover, this marks the middle of the week, which means we have managed to survive this far. And this calls for celebration, yes? So please join us as we hoist another cup of delicious stimulation. Our choice today is bananas Foster. Remember, no prescription is required. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest. Have a grand day, and drop us a line if you hear something saucy. …

Drug companies and patient advocacy groups have been aggressively lobbying insurers to pay for weight-loss drugs, and have also lobbied Congress to pass a bill that has languished through three administrations to require Medicare to pay for the drugs. But for now, the status quo has not budged, The New York Times says. Physicians argue obesity is a chronic disease that should be treated as intensively as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic illnesses, but this rarely happens. “Access to medicines for the treatment of obesity is dismal in this country,” said Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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