pharmaceuticals

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal flirts with combating high prescription drug prices, but industry watchers say the tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid do little more than dance around the edges of lowering the actual prices of drugs.

EVAN VUCCI / AP

Alex Azar’s job hop from drug-maker Eli Lilly to the Trump administration reflects ever-deepening ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government.

Photo: Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A 25-year-old federal drug discount program has grown so big and controversial that it faces a fight for survival as federal officials and lawmakers furiously debate the program’s reach.

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The Food and Drug Administration last month sent criminal investigation agents with search warrants into nine storefronts across Central Florida that help customers order drugs from pharmacies in Canada and overseas at big discounts.

The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.

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Heather Bresch, the head of pharmaceutical company Mylan, is defending the cost for life-saving EpiPens, signaling the company has no plans to lower prices despite a public outcry and questions from skeptical lawmakers.

The state is being accused of stalling the award for a state prescription drug contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Efforts to streamline the state’s prescription drug purchasing program remain stuck in legal limbo, according to the Florida Current. Three years ago, the state wanted to award a new contract to combine the purchasing of drugs for the state’s health clinics, prisons and other agencies.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is moving its "North America Capability Center” to Hillsborough County, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The pharmaceutical giant says it will employ around 600 employees at an average annual wage of over $60,000. 

Broward Sheriff's Office

When the cops arrested Jorge Castillo at his Miami Lakes home on Monday, they found he lived well, with two Maseratis, a Range Rover and a boat. Small wonder, as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.  Prosecutors say Castillo, 43, bought pharmaceutical drugs for AIDS, cancer, psychosis and other conditions from criminals.