Important pharmacy news and late-breaking industry information updated daily.

The rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine will likely target health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities during Phase 1a, essential workers during Phase 1b, and older adults as well as men and women with comorbidities during Phase 1c.

HHS announced Thursday the U.S. government is partnering with large chain pharmacies and networks representing independent and chain pharmacies to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available. The program will cover about 60% of pharmacies throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.

Four companies that made or distributed prescription opioid analgesics have reached a tentative $26 billion settlement with counties and cities that sued them for damages in the largest federal court case in U.S. history.

A final HHS rule issued Thursday requires most private health insurers to begin sharing public and real-time information on prices and cost-sharing.

FDA approved on Thursday remdesivir (Veklury—Gilead Sciences) for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 lbs). This is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive FDA approval.

After a participant in one of its coronavirus vaccine trials became sick with an unexplained illness, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that it has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine investigations. An independent data-safety monitoring board is now reviewing the case to determine if the complication is tied to the study intervention.

FDA submitted tougher guidelines for emergency authorization of a coronavirus vaccine on September 21, but it now appears that the White House will not back the proposal. The recommendations are idling in the office of Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has cited the changes as overly time-consuming and onerous.

APhA is warning about potential fallout from a new FDA rule, published September 25, that sanctions the import of prescription medicines from Canada. The Trump administration asserts that Americans will save money on their medications, but APhA fears the rule will compromise patient safety.

A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warns that shortages of supplies and equipment are affecting the nation's COVID-19 response.

Backed by clinical trial data, Eli Lilly and Incyte Corp. will pursue emergency use authorization for their rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib (Olumiant) as a treatment for COVID-19. Previous research has demonstrated that certain steroids, owing to their anti-inflammatory properties, may benefit infected patients.