As expected, Myriad Genetics filed a lawsuit alleging that Quest Diagnostics' recent entry into the BRCA gene testing market for breast and ovarian cancers violates Myriad's patents. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 22 in U.S. District Court in Utah, came one week after Quest, one of the largest clinical laboratories in the U.S., announced plans to start selling tests for the BRCA genes. Those genes are associated with higher risks for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. The market for BRCA testing was shaken up in June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA cannot be patented. Myriad, a spokesman said, believes that its patents on BRCA gene testing remain “valid and enforceable.”
Myriad Genetics sues Quest over BRCA testing and other news
The Food and Drug Administration is recommending restrictions on prescription medicines containing hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the U.S. In a big policy shift, the agency said in an online notice that hydrocodone-containing drugs should be subject to the same restrictions as narcotic such as oxycodone and morphine. The move comes more than a decade after the Drug Enforcement Administration first asked the FDA to reclassify hydrocodone.
Raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 would save substantially less money than previously estimated, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. The federal budget deficit would be reduced by a total of $19 billion between 2016 and 2023—60% less than previously projected—if the enrollment age for most individuals was raised. The difference is in large part due to revised projections about how much it will cost to provide coverage for 65- and 66-year-old enrollees. Upping the eligibility age has been a key deficit reduction proposal by Republicans and other deficit reduction advocates. The CBO's new projection may weaken their case.
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