Situational awareness: UCLA and Cal State L.A. have quarantined more than 200 students and staff to stop a measles outbreak from spreading, the LA Times reports.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Pharmaceutical companies can often begin raking in huge profits before they've proven that a new drug will work. And some of them don't work, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
The big picture: The FDA is increasingly allowing drugmakers to start selling their products based on preliminary evidence, wrapping up their clinical trials after they're already on the market. Some of those trials don't pan out — but drugmakers are still charging sky-high prices in the interim.
Driving the news: Eli Lilly said yesterday that it will pull the cancer drug Lartruvo off the market, after a clinical trial showed that the drug didn't extend patients' lives.
Between the lines: Over the past few years, the FDA has been moving significantly more drugs through its "accelerated approval" process.
So far, that hasn't happened often. Lartruvo was only the second time in recent memory that an accelerated approval ended up going bust.
Hospitals in South Carolina are allowed to siphon off millions of dollars a year from their poorest patients' tax refunds, to recoup those patients' medical debt, according to a a wild story by the Post and Courier.
So in short, hospitals — including private ones — in South Carolina use the Department of Revenue as their debt collector, a practice replicated only in one other state.
The Trump administration may agree to China's demand that biologics receive only 8 years of market exclusivity as part of a trade deal, a blow to the drug industry, Bloomberg scooped.
Between the lines: Obviously, drug companies don't like this. The longer an exclusivity period a drugmaker has, the longer it can enjoy monopoly pricing before a competitor can come to market.
Bonus: Bloomberg also had a great story yesterday on nonprofits that receive drug industry funding, and then push for pharma-friendly policies.
In a case with wide-ranging implications, two health care behemoths are facing off in a legal battle that gets at the question of how big is too big, Kaiser Health News reports.
The disagreement is about whether Highmark beneficiaries will have access to UPMC hospitals, doctors and specialty clinics after June 30.
The bottom line: This case gets at the question of what is less competitive: The state becoming involved in private health care companies' legal matters, or a health care behemoth having the power to shut out its competition.
Astellas Pharma is paying $100 million and Amgen is paying almost $25 million to the Department of Justice to settle allegations that they funneled donations to charities, which in return covered patients' copays for those companies' drugs.
By the numbers: The settlements are small potatoes for both drugmakers, Axios's Bob Herman reports.
The big picture: "To date, the DOJ has collected over $840 million from 8 pharmaceutical companies (United Therapeutics, Pfizer, Actelion, Jazz, Lundbeck, Alexion, Astellas and Amgen) that allegedly used third-party foundations as kickback vehicles," the DOJ wrote in its announcement of the settlements.
Why it matters: Using a charity as a conduit for sales keeps pressure off drug companies from lowering prices.
Have a great weekend!