In general news, after laying low for seven weeks, North Korea fired a mobile ICBM capable of striking the US. This came after a Chinese delegation failed to sway North Korea to back off of their nuclear development plans. In the U.S., President Trump won his first legislative battle by getting the largest tax reduction in history past the senate. The bill also gutted Obamacare by removing the mandate that everyone must purchase insurance. In domestic scandals, NBC’s Matt Lauer became the latest to be ousted for sexual harassment. Finally, the Dow index crossed 24,000.
In healthcare business news, Amazon (AMZN) made waves by exploring entering into the generic drug business; a move that would also cut the PBM’s out of the picture. Sensing these paradigm changes coming, CVS (CVS) moved forward with plans to acquire Aetna (AET) for $66 Billion in order to diversify away from the failing drug store business model. Elsewhere, a $110 Million verdict against JNJ over their talcum powder was upheld by a judge.
On the data front, Bristol’s (BMY) Opdivo showed promise at treating HIV by depleting the dormant stores of the virus in bone marrow, allowing other HIV drugs to work.
From the FDA, Mylan’s (MYL) biosimilar to Roche’s Herceptin was approved. Amgen’s (AMGN) Repatha won the label claim that it reduces cardiovascular events. Finally, Senator Schumer wants makers of home DNA tests, such as Alphabet’s (GOOGL) 23andMe, to keep the data private and not resell it to marketers.