In the very early hours of the morning, the Senate voted against a scaled-back plan to repeal sections of the Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 49-51, the Senate did not pass the bill. All Democratic Senators voted against the plan, and three Republicans--Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona--joined them. This is a significant setback to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts to get rid of the ACA; this week he has attempted t
Yesterday afternoon the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law held a hearing on antitrust concerns, the FDA’s approval process for generic drugs, and how it impacts access to generic drugs. Both Democrat and Republican members agreed that abuses of the regulatory process were a serious problem and endorsed the CREATES Act to stop these abuses. The hearing demonstrated that the CREATES Act enjoys bipartisan support, and that there is an opportu
Earlier today Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced several new proposals to stop corporate consolidation and reduce prescription drug prices. These proposals go beyond what congressional leaders have endorsed in the past, and signify that they are willing to make sweeping changes to protect consumers and deal with these problems. The first proposal focuses on rising prescription drug prices. It bluntly states that our c
The Food and Drug Administration's recent public meeting demonstrated that brand companies are engaging in wide-spread abuse of regulations in order to block access to generic drugs. As Mr. Balto said in his presentation, predation by abuse of government procedure is one of the most insidious anticompetitive practices. He covered three of the most egregious abuses in his presentation and offered possible solutions for them; below are short summaries of the main problems. The
The proposed Senate healthcare bill has failed, but another bad idea has risen to take its place. Recent reports show that the Senate will soon consider just repealing the Affordable Care Act, without have any replacement healthcare bill, and that a vote on this will take place early next week. This idea is a terrible one that will harm tens of millions of Americans. Congress should reject the proposal and instead focus on enacting legislation to reduce out-of-control drug pr
Yesterday, July 18th, the Food and Drug Administration held a very large public meeting at their White Oak campus in Silver Spring to get public input on the Hatch-Waxman amendments and access to generic drugs. Many different individuals and organizations testified that brand drug companies are abusing FDA regulations to delay or block access to generic drugs, and called for action to end these abuses. The three areas are the misuse of REMS protocols, the abuse of citizen pet
This Monday, July 10th, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy signed a bill to close an important drug price loophole and stop an abusive practice by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) known as clawbacks. The bill allows pharmacists to tell patients about the cheapest ways to pay for prescription drugs they pick up at the pharmacy. PBMs often use their power to negotiate contracts with pharmacists that prohibit drugstores from telling their patients about cheaper prices. A 'clawback'
Parts of Louisiana have the worst public health outcomes in the United States. There are two main contributors to this problem: poverty and poor health, leading to high rates of obesity, premature births, and high rates of Hepatitis C, a liver-damaging virus often gotten by drug uses. Hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis and cancer, but several new medicines can cure this disease. However, these drugs are so expensive that Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee is considering a ra