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12/11/2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has reached a deal with Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to prevent clashes on the House floor Thursday when her signature drug pricing bill will be up for a vote. The deal includes two changes that progressives want to include in the bill, including raising the minimum number of drugs subject to negotiation from 35 to 50 and extending protection against price increases to people on employer-sponsored health insurance plans, not just on Medicare.

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The Hill
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Pramila Jayapal
12/11/2019

Supreme Court justices who heard oral arguments in a case on whether the US government owes insurers about $12 billion in risk corridor program payments under the Affordable Care Act appeared sympathetic to health insurers, and their questions suggest they might rule in their favor. During the hearing, Justice Stephen Breyer questioned why the federal government can't "pay its contracts just like everybody else."

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Reuters
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Supreme Court
12/11/2019

Gregory Adams was appointed the new chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, following the death of Bernard Tyson last month. Adams, who started working at Kaiser in 1999, previously served as the insurer's group president and executive vice president.

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Reuters
12/11/2019

The FDA admitted that it continues to face difficulties in hiring 50 new inspectors as it struggles to complete foreign drug inspections, which declined by about 10% in 2018 from 2016. "Even if the Agency succeeds in hiring a new investigator, it can take 1.5 to 2 years of training to bring them to a fully proficient level," Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock said in her written testimony to the House oversight subcommittee, noting that 90% of foreign reviews are done by US-based inspectors with only 12 foreign-based drug investigators at present.

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Regulatory Focus
12/11/2019

A Congressional Budget Office analysis found the drug pricing bill introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for at least 35 brand-name drugs annually would save the federal government $456 billion in a decade. The legislation, which will see a vote this week, would cut the deficit by $5 billion in 10 years, according to CBO estimates.

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The Hill
12/11/2019

Nonprofit generic drug firm Civica Rx said it will provide its member hospitals with eight critical injectable drugs by year-end. The drugs, many of which are in short supply, include heparin, naloxone hydrochloride, dexamethasone sodium phosphate, glycopyrrolate, prochlorperazine edisylate, ondansetron, morphine sulfate and metoprolol tartrate.

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prochlorperazine
12/11/2019

A study of 495 Northwestern University student athletes, matched with 493 non-athletes, published in the journal Sports Health, suggests playing sports may reduce static in the brain and allow for better processing of external sounds. Senior author Nina Kraus says sports may tune the brain, similar to tuning a radio to better hear a DJ's voice.

12/10/2019

House GOP leaders unveiled a drug pricing bill Monday and touted it as a bipartisan alternative to Democrat-backed legislation introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The provisions include a cap on out-of-pocket costs for seniors covered by Medicare Part D, measures to rein in anti-competitive actions by drugmakers and a requirement that pharmaceutical firms justify large price increases.

12/10/2019

The Supreme Court today is set to hear oral arguments in a case on whether the federal government owes private health insurers about $12 billion in risk corridor payments under the Affordable Care Act. AHIP previously filed a brief in support of the lawsuit, arguing a ruling against insurers would threaten "ongoing and future public-private partnerships that are critically important to the nation's health care system."

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Supreme Court
12/10/2019

One in 4 Americans responding to a Gallup poll said they or a family member deferred treatment for a serious medical issue in the last 12 months due to costs, while an additional 8% said they or someone in their household delayed treatment for a less serious issue for cost reasons. Adults in households earning less than $40,000 annually and those with pre-existing conditions were especially likely to forgo treatment, the poll found.

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Gallup