After months of delay and suspense, in a Rose Garden ceremony, President Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced a comprehensive approach to prescription drugs, which they claimed would address major challenges.
After passing a gargantuan appropriations bill that balloons the deficit by hundreds of billions and funds the government through October, the conventional wisdom in Washington is that Congress is done legislating for the rest of the year, save one major issue: addressing opioids.
The recent announcement of two vertical mergers — the $52 billion acquisition of Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in the country, by Cigna, and the $69 billion purchase of Aetna by CVS Health — raise significant antitrust concerns over how these megacompanies will impact patient access and pharmaceutical pricing.
In an incredible show of profligacy, Republicans forsook any notion of fiscal conservatism by substantially increasing discretionary spending by over $2 trillion over the next decade, less than two months after cutting taxes by $1.5 trillion over that same time period.
The absurdity of the U.S. government’s perspective on the implementation of government-run health programs came into focus recently in the Republican tax overhaul bill as well as the rollout of the new Medicare physician payment system.
Pressure had been building for more than a year for something to be done about drug prices, and specifically inflated list prices to the patient at the pharmacy counter that do not reflect the substantial rebates manufacturers are providing. Where was all the money going? How could the list price and patient copays for drugs keep rising when the net prices — accounting for manufacturer rebates — stayed level?
Policymakers recently have focused on the 340B program as its size increased. Whole cottage industries have been created that instruct how hospitals and contract pharmacies can profit from the loose regulations, to the point that the drug industry can no longer overlook the market inefficiencies Yet despite several oversight hearings by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Congress could not come to a consensus on how to reform it.
Many analysts believe the Republican base’s frustration with the inability of the party to repeal Obamacare makes a Democrat takeover of Congress in 2018 a real possibility. An examination of Democratic health priorities is therefore in order.
Frustrated with congressional Republican inaction on major pieces of his agenda, President Trump cut deals with Democrats on a short-term increase in the debt ceiling and funding the government. Then to the surprise and consternation of his base, Trump agreed to work on a deal to extend DACA, a Democratic priority. But what does Trump’s new interest in working with Democrats mean for healthcare policy-making? That is not yet clear.
Lost in the hubbub over drug pricing has been the flat and declining spending recently in Part D. The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) June 2017 Baseline projections show that Part D spending stabilized at $95 billion annually for 2016 and 2017 and will decline to $92 billion in 2018.
This month, our Washington D.C. insider discusses the 340B drug discount program and the 340B Hospital Outpatient proposed rule. “Notwithstanding the hoopla over the CMS proposal, a proposed rule does not necessarily mean it will become finalized policy.”
After the House of Representatives passed The American Health Care Act — the bill that would replace Obamacare — by a razor-thin margin, consideration moved to the Senate, where Republicans have only two votes to spare to secure passage.
At a Stanford University conference last week, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said President Trump keeps asking him what he is doing to address the high cost of pharmaceuticals.
As Republicans attempt to recover from their face-plant on repealing and replacing Obamacare, policymakers are grappling with how to address the growing problem of healthcare provider consolidation, which appears to be raising costs and undermining competition.
To understand the political peril Republicans confront in their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, it is worth noting that many of the areas that gained the most coverage from Obamacare are the working-class districts carried by President Trump with the largest margins.
Sage Therapeutics’ CEO Jeff Jonas, M.D., discusses what he means by a “return to the basics of science” at his company.
Summary: Jeff Jonas, M.D., CEO of Sage Therapeutics, discusses some of the challenges of launching a product that could change the paradigm of treating postpartum depression (PPD).
Three manufacturing executives from three different companies (i.e., Allergan, Biogen, and GSK) tackle questions on trends, regions, and the future of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
BIO 2018 does more than make business meeting history, but facilitates personal connections that can lead toward doing better business.
Miriam Massaad, a biomedical engineering student at Boston University, shares her experiences as a first-time attendee at the 2018 BIO International Convention and Conference in Boston.