OptumRx Flags 5 Drugs to Watch At Close of ‘Evolutionary’ Year

  • Dec 22, 2021

    In a move that demonstrates just how quickly things can change in the prescription drug world, one of the five drugs featured in OptumRx’s latest quarterly Drug Pipeline Insights Report was rejected by the FDA not long after the report went live in late November. But an expert from the UnitedHealth Group-owned PBM says the other four drugs highlighted in the report remain worth watching — including one that just got the FDA’s blessing.

    The rejected drug in question is plinabulin, which was being developed to prevent chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN) — a condition in which patients have an abnormally low amount of a certain type of white blood cell. The FDA sent a response letter to plinabulin’s manufacturer, BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals, on Dec. 1, stating that the results of a single registrational trial conducted by the company was not sufficiently robust to demonstrate the drug’s benefit and that a second, well-controlled trial “would be required to satisfy the substantial evidence requirement to support the CIN indication,” according to the drugmaker.

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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