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  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    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...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Grassley Calls for More Unannounced Foreign Drug Inspections From FDA

    As the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explores plans to lower the cost of pharmaceuticals with imports from Canada and elsewhere, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is calling on the agency to perform more unannounced inspections of foreign facilities. Thanks to recent media coverage (on  China and tainted blood pressure medicines  and another article on  generic drug manufacturing ) as well as a controversial new book on the US reliance on foreign-made generic medicin...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Foreign Threats to NIH Research: Senate Finance Committee Digs In

    China, Russia and Iran were singled out in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday as countries that are looking to either undermine or usurp scientific research conducted with US taxpayer funds. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made clear that China is “by far the most prolific offender,” offering the example of attempts by Chinese researchers to steal genetically modified corn seeds in Iowa and send them back to China. “Researchers who are secretly ...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Senators Call on HHS to Allow Canadian Drug Imports if Prices Spike

    Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA), John McCain (R-AZ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Tuesday sent a letter to Tom Price, the newly confirmed secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling on him to fast-track the approval of prescription drugs imported from Canada in four different circumstances, including if the price of a drug increases significantly. Those circumstances are: If a drug is off patent or no longer marketed in the US by the innovato...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Sen. Grassley Opens Inquiry Into Orphan Drug Act

    Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) on Friday confirmed to Focus that he is gathering more information and discussing with his staff and interested parties a possible inquiry into the Orphan Drug Act ’s abuses leading to high drug prices. “Based on the reporting from Kaiser Health News [KHN] about how the orphan drug provisions appear to be stretched beyond their original intent, and the strong consumer concern about high drug prices, I'm interested in learning whether...
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    Grassley and Warren Call for UDIs to be Added to Health Insurance Claims Forms

    Incorporating unique device identifiers (UDIs) into health insurance claims forms could help improve the postmarket tracking of medical device safety concerns and performance, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote in a letter earlier this week to the chair of an Accredited Standards Committee. The Virginia-based committee is tasked with recommending changes to electronic claims forms, with the latest version of standards slated for release 1 Dece...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Senators to FDA: Where are the Alternatives to Mylan’s EpiPen?

    Five senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf on Wednesday seeking more information on what the agency is doing to help authorize the use of EpiPen competitors that could bring down the cost of the autoinjector. The letter comes amid a frenzy of Congressional outrage over the more than 400% spike in the price of Mylan’s life-saving EpiPen for those suffering from severe allergies that hasn’...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Senators Grill CMS on Incorporating UDIs Into Insurance Claims Forms

    Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) questioned the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) opposition to incorporating the unique device identifier (UDI) for medical devices into insurance claims forms. By not adding UDIs to insurance claims forms, Warren and Grassley warn that Medicare is making it more difficult to monitor device safety, which has resulted in millions of claims that could have been avoided with better monitoring. In ...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Senators Call on FDA to Allow Certain Canadian Drug Imports

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should allow the importation of pharmaceutical products from Canada if they meet certain stipulations, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John McCain (R-AZ) wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell. The senators call on FDA to “immediately” certify the importation of prescription drugs if they are off patent and are no longer marketed by the drug developer, if there are “significant and unexplain...
  • CDRH Whistleblowing Scandal Back in Spotlight as Congress Again Takes Interest

    If US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials thought they had finally moved past a scandal that has embroiled the agency's medical device division for years, they apparently thought wrong. This piece has been updated with comment from FDA. See the FDA Comments' section . -Ed. Background On 26 February 2013, the US House Oversight Committee is set to re-examine a 2012 scandal involving FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) in which the agency ...
  • Senator Calls--Again--for White House to Release Sunshine Act Rules

    A prominent senator is once again calling upon federal officials to pass a long-delayed rule regarding the transparency of payments made by companies to healthcare providers, saying the delays are "unacceptable." Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and along with former Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) sponsored and wrote the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act), which eventually became part of the 201...
  • Sunshine Act Clears CMS Review, But Final Promulgation Could be Months Off

    • 29 November 2012
    Signs are emerging that a long-awaited landmark regulation governing the transparency of gifts given to medical practitioners by industry has entered its last clearance stage before final promulgation. The rule, Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership of Investment Interests , is the direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) -colloquially known as Obamacare-the seventh title of which contains the "Physicians Payment Suns...