Senate Sends Trump Stopgap Spending Bill, Averting Shutdown
The Senate passed a temporary government-wide funding bill on Thursday that staves off the risk of a government shutdown through Nov. 21. The measure would buy additional time for lawmakers to work to unclog a $1.4 trillion bundle of yearly spending bills that is hung up amid fights over President Donald Trump's border wall and abortion. Those measures face a variety of obstacles, and it's not clear whether Congress will pass them.
By Taylor, Published in The Associated Press
Medicaid Drug Rebate Bill Heads To Trump's Desk
A bipartisan bill to help ensure drug companies don't overcharge taxpayers for drugs in the Medicaid program is headed to President Donald Trump's desk as part of the continuing resolution to fund the government through Nov. 21. The Fair and Accurate Medicaid Pricing Act, H.R. 3276 (116), cleared the Senate today as part of the continuing resolution. It is expected to save about $3.1 billion over the next decade by closing a loophole that allowed authorized generic drug prices to be used when calculating a brand drug's Medicaid rebates.
By Karlin-Smith, Published in PoliticoPro
KHN Files Lawsuit To Force Feds To Disclose Medicare Advantage Audits
Kaiser Health News is suing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to release dozens of audits that the agency says reveal hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges by Medicare Advantage health plans. The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act, seeks copies of 90 government audits of Medicare Advantage health plans conducted for 2011, 2012 and 2013 but never made public. CMS officials have said they expect to collect $650 million in overpayments from the audits. Although the agency has disclosed the names of the health plans under scrutiny, it has not released any other details.
By Schulte, Published In Kaiser Health News
Politics Threatens Drug Pricing Deal Between Congress, Trump
A congressional effort to reach a deal to lower prescription drug prices this year seemed on a path to derailment Wednesday amid political escalation on several fronts. House Republicans took a hard line against a major plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in the first committee hearing on her proposal to authorize government negotiation of certain high-priced drugs. Later in the afternoon, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) acknowledged his effort with ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to get their embattled proposal on the Senate floor may not happen this year.
By Luthi, Published In Modern Healthcare
The Associated Press: US Probe Of Vaping Illnesses Focuses On THC From Marijuana
U.S. health officials said Friday that their investigation into an outbreak of severe vaping-related illnesses is increasingly focused on products that contain the marijuana compound THC. Most of the 800 people who got sick vaped THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But officials said they didn't know if the THC is the problem or some other substance added to the vaping liquid, such as thickeners.
By Stobbe, Published by The Associated Press
Novartis Expands Recall Of Heartburn Meds To U.S. After Finding Carcinogen
After running tests, the Sandoz unit of Novartis (NVS) has expanded its recall of heartburn medicines containing ranitidine and is now pulling the products from the U.S. The move comes one week after the drug maker halted worldwide distribution of heartburn medicines and regulators in the U.S and Europe disclosed the capsules may contain high levels of a carcinogen. At the time, Sandoz also issued a recall in some European countries and Canada, but did not take the same step in the U.S. while testing was underway.
By Silverman, Published in Stat