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Health Highlights: Oct. 21, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Lawmakers Question Leukemia Drug Price Increases

Two U.S. lawmakers want to know why a drug company increased the price of a leukemia drug by tens of thousands of dollars in recent years.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals' list price for a year's supply of Iclusig, used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, rose from $114,960 in 2012 to $198,732 in October 2016, according to data from Truven Health Analytics, the Associated Press reported.

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and asked about the price increases.

"These outrageous sales tactics indicate that ARIAD is more concerned with its profit than with its patients," they wrote, the AP reported.

The two lawmakers also said they are investigating whether ARIAD attempted to increase profits by changing pill dosages and quantities to charge insurers and patients more for less medicine.

Posted: October 2016


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