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    Pelosi Unveils Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

    As Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) continues to push his own competing drug pricing legislation in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled her proposal to lower prescription drug prices on Thursday, with a plan likely to please more liberal Democrats and further distance Republicans. At the heart of Pelosi’s plan is the idea to allow Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to select between 25 and 250 drugs annually and directly negotiate with manufactur...
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    Early FDA Review Finds Increased Mortality for Some Treated With Paclitaxel-Coated Devices

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday that a preliminary review of long-term follow-up data has identified a “potentially concerning signal of increased long-term mortality” in study subjects treated for peripheral arterial disease with paclitaxel-coated balloons and paclitaxel-eluting stents when compared to patients treated with uncoated devices. “Of the three trials with 5-year follow-up data, each showed higher mortality in subjects treated with pacl...
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    House E&C Questions Insulin Manufacturers

    The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) on Wednesday sent letters to the three insulin manufacturers serving the US: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, seeking more information on the root causes of the rising cost of insulin. First discovered more than 100 years ago, average insulin prices nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013 and then nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, with patients bearing the brunt of those price spikes. Now, just a day after two moth...
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    House, Senate Hearings Address Pharmaceutical Prices

    The House Oversight Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday held hearings addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs, with both committees featuring mothers of insulin-dependent children, including one whose daughter died because of rationing due to the cost of insulin. Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others stressed the need for an investigation into the rising cost of insulin. “We need to continue to have a strong research engine ...
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    HHS Secretary Nominee: 'No Silver Bullet' to Bring Down Drug Prices

    President Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary nominee Alex Azar told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that drug prices "are too high" and he will work to bring them down, though, "There's no silver bullet." Azar previously told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that drug prices will be his top priority. The comments on Tuesday followed questions raised by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and others regardi...
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    Industry Groups Explain Competition Issues in the US Pharma Market

    Industry groups representing generic and brand-name drugs, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and pharmacies offered their comments on a November meeting held at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on possible solutions to increase competition and lower pharmaceutical prices in the US. The organizations discussed differing views on what can be done, with the generic group noting its own declining prices and possible ways to combat abuses, the brand-name industry point...
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    GAO: Retail Drug Price Expenditures Have Nearly Doubled Since 1990s

    The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday released a new report on the pharmaceutical industry's sales and expenses related to research and development (R&D), noting that the amount of money people spend on prescription drugs has nearly doubled since the 1990s, mostly because of brand-name drugs. Retail prescription drug expenditures were estimated to account for about 12% of total personal health care service spending in the US in 2015, up from abou...
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    HHS Secretary Nominee Azar: Top Priority is Drug Prices

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Wednesday grilled President Donald Trump's HHS secretary nominee and former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar on drug prices, and he vowed that the issue would be his top priority. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and others questioned Azar on how he would oversee an industry that he used to work for. "I don't have pharma's policy agenda," A...
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    As Transparency on Priority Review Vouchers Fades, Prices Level Off

    In the early days of the priority review voucher (PRV) programs, back in 2014 and 2015, companies publicly disclosed who they sold their PRVs to, how much they cost and which products they were eventually used to speed the review of. But now that 17 PRVs have been issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), news of PRV sales has slowed to a trickle of SEC filings and the rare press release. Three times already in 2017, with GlaxoSmithKline and Teva’s...
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    Gottlieb Discusses Efficiencies, Opioids, Pricing and More at National Press Club

    US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb took questions at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Friday, offering perspective on what the agency is doing to be more efficient, actions related to the opioid epidemic and how FDA plays a role in the drug pricing debate. In the question and answer section of the talk, Gottlieb noted the agency will be putting forth more guidelines to drive efficiencies in the development of new therapi...
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    FTC Seeks Comments on Competition in Prescription Drug Markets

    Ahead of a November workshop in which FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will give a keynote address, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking comments on a variety of questions related to competition issues in the US prescription drug market. The free and public workshop on 8 November will explore considerations that may stop the entry of generic drugs even after relevant patents have expired on brand-name products, including factors related to prices and other i...
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    States Take on Drug Price Transparency, Gouging

    As the US Congress continues to highlight specific drug price increases rather than adopt wide-reaching legislation to curb such practices, states are taking the matter into their own hands. In California, an Assembly committee on Wednesday moved forward a bill ( SB 17 ) that would shine a spotlight on what the state spends on the most expensive prescription drugs, as well as which drugs have seen the highest year-over-year spending increases. The bill, which pa...