FTC Alerts Rising Urge for food For Larger PBM Oversight

The Federal Commerce Fee is reviewing “outdated” company statements and insurance policies when in involves regulation of pharmacy profit supervisor practices. In different drug pricing information, pharmaceutical corporations ratchet up their efforts to halt Medicare negotiations, and a invoice capping insulin costs hits hurdles in Congress.

FTC Rescinds Coverage Statements Backing PBMs

The Federal Commerce Fee despatched one other shot throughout the bow of the pharmacy profit managers on Thursday, warning the businesses in opposition to counting on “outdated” company statements and research that opposed extra regulatory oversight and transparency of PBMs. The transfer alerts the FTC’s rising curiosity in difficult what commissioners characterised as “competitively troubling modifications within the PBM market” and its efforts to take away hurdles to state efforts to handle issues with the drug chain middlemen. (Reed, 7/21)

The New York Instances:
Drugmakers Throw ‘Kitchen Sink’ To Halt Medicare Worth Negotiations 

The pharmaceutical trade, which suffered a stinging defeat final yr when President Biden signed a regulation authorizing Medicare to barter the worth of some prescription medicines, is now waging a broad-based assault on the measure — simply as the negotiations are about to start. The regulation, the Inflation Discount Act, is a signature legislative achievement for Mr. Biden, who has boasted that he took on the drug trade and gained. Medicare is the federal medical health insurance program for older and disabled folks; the provisions permitting it to barter costs are anticipated to avoid wasting the federal government an estimated $98.5 billion over a decade whereas decreasing insurance coverage premiums and out-of-pocket prices for a lot of older Individuals. (Homosexual Stolberg and Robbins, 7/23)

The Hill:
Key Drug-Pricing Invoice Capping Insulin Prices Faces Hurdles In Congress

Main drug-pricing laws to cap the price of insulin is in peril of slipping to the autumn, the place it dangers getting misplaced amid fights over appropriations payments, abortion and a possible authorities shutdown. The laws is a precedence for Democrats, and Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated earlier this month that he hoped to mix the insulin invoice and laws reforming the pharmacy profit supervisor (PBM) trade right into a package deal that would get bipartisan help and a vote earlier than the top of summer season. (Weixel, 7/23)

Well being Coverage Wars Eat Appropriations Payments, Risking Shutdown

Home Republicans’ Meals and Agriculture spending invoice would ban mail supply of abortion drugs and decontrol the tobacco trade. Their Overseas Operations invoice would defund the World Well being Group. And a number of payments would bar entry to gender-affirming care. Republicans, in coordination with outdoors conservative teams akin to Susan B. Anthony Checklist and the America First Coverage Institute, are utilizing must-pass appropriations payments to make their mark on a variety of well being insurance policies, injecting tradition wars into the already fraught debate over authorities spending and elevating the possibilities of a authorities shutdown. (Miranda Ollstein, 7/23)

Corporations Spend Much less On Lobbying After Leaving PhRMA

The three corporations that just lately left PhRMA all spent much less on lobbying following their departures, in response to newly launched federal disclosures. PhRMA, the brand-drug trade commerce group, misplaced three members over a span of 5 months following the passage of Democrats’ drug pricing reform regulation final yr. How massive members navigate their exits could possibly be instructive to different companies making selections about their continued membership sooner or later. A lot of PhRMA’s income comes from firm dues, so exits harm the group’s backside line. (Cohrs, 7/24)

In different developments from the Biden administration —

Dems Press Biden Officers On Medicaid Disenrollments

Congressional Democrats are prodding the Biden administration to do extra to stop Medicaid protection losses because of the finish of the pandemic’s steady protection provisions. Over 3 million folks have been dropped from Medicaid rolls to this point, in response to KFF, and specialists have been alarmed that greater than half have misplaced protection for “procedural” causes — that means an absence of correct paperwork. (Sullivan, 7/21)

New Merger Steering May Stretch Timing Of Well being Care Offers

Newly proposed merger pointers from the Federal Commerce Fee might chill dealmaking within the well being care sector, in addition to improve the prices and time it takes to get transactions to shut, specialists say. The FTC this month withdrew two antitrust coverage statements and with the Division of Justice issued up to date steerage for merger critiques, committing to evaluation offers and conduct on a case-by-case foundation. (Dreher, 7/24)

Hospices In 4 States To Obtain Additional Scrutiny Over Considerations Of Fraud, Waste And Abuse

Final week, regulators rolled out enhanced oversight for brand spanking new hospices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. The Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies, which pays for many of American hospice care, introduced that this alteration was spurred by “quite a few reviews of hospice fraud, waste, and abuse” and “critical issues about market oversaturation.” (Kofman, 7/21)

NIH’s Translational Analysis Arm Will get A New Lobbyist

Christopher Austin was the primary director of a then-tiny Nationwide Institutes of Well being division with an opaque identify, the Nationwide Heart for Advancing Translational Sciences. Now, just a few years out of the job, he’s acquired a brand new process: Be sure Congress doesn’t overlook about it. (Owermohle, 7/24)

The VA’s New Medical Information System Has Gone Haywire. Congress Is Alarmed

The Veterans Affairs Division’s fumbling effort to exchange its decadesold digital well being data system has strained its relationship with Congress to the breaking level. Anger in regards to the venture — billions over funds, tied to at the very least 4 veterans’ deaths, and now, on pause — is accountable for a spate of invoice introductions, some aiming to close the venture down, others to spice up oversight and accountability. The issues additionally led Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley to carry up a affirmation vote on President Joe Biden’s nominee for one of many VA’s high posts. (Leonard, 7/21)

In information on the FDA —

KFF Well being Information:
FDA Head Robert Califf Battles Misinformation — Generally With Fuzzy Information

Robert Califf, the pinnacle of the Meals and Drug Administration, doesn’t appear to be having enjoyable on the job. “I’d describe this yr as hand-to-hand fight. Actually, day by day,” he stated at an instructional convention at Stanford in April. It’s a sentiment the FDA commissioner has expressed typically. (Tahir, 7/24)

U.S. FDA Denies Petition On Chemical substances Used In Meals Packaging

The U.S. well being regulator on Friday denied a petition urging the company to rethink its preliminary denial on a petition in search of a ban of some chemical compounds utilized in plastic for meals packaging in Could final yr. The citizen petition to the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) sought a ban on the usage of eight ortho-phthalates and revocation of the prior sanctioned makes use of for 5 ortho-phthalates in meals primarily based on alleged security issues. (7/21)

Additionally —

KFF Well being Information:
All the things Outdated Is New Once more? The Newest Spherical Of Well being Coverage Proposals Reprises Present Concepts

Overlook “repeal and change,” an oft-repeated Republican rallying cry in opposition to the Reasonably priced Care Act. Home Republicans have superior a package deal of payments that would scale back medical health insurance prices for sure companies and shoppers, partly by rolling again some shopper protections. Relatively than outright repeal, nevertheless, the subtler effort might permit extra employers to bypass the landmark medical health insurance overhaul’s primary advantages necessities and most state requirements. (Appleby, 7/24)

That is a part of the Morning Briefing, a abstract of well being coverage protection from main information organizations. Join an e-mail subscription.

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