The issue of the U.S. federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was revisited yet again in a hearing in the House of Representatives. While partisanship was on full display, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a vaccine and that the development of candidates has not compromised scientific principles.
With the CDC saying Tuesday that it’s not if but when COVID-19 becomes more widespread in the U.S., now is not the time to cut the budgets of programs and agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The impending resumption of the 2.3% tax on medical devices has industry actively seeking at least a new suspension. Now, the Tax Foundation, of Washington, has issued a report saying that the tax would cost more than 21,000 Americans their jobs and impose a $1.7 billion hit on the U.S. economy.
In another marathon session Tuesday, the third U.S. House committee with jurisdiction over prescription drug pricing issues marked up H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, clearing the way for a House vote on the partisan measure yet this month.
The ideological divide between Republicans and Democrats proved to be an uncrossable chasm Thursday as two U.S. House committees marked up H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and a third committee held its first hearing on the bill that was crafted behind the closed doors of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office.
Whether it's mere political posturing or a genuine prescription to control U.S. drug prices, a Democratic plan taking shape in the House provides an idea of what direct government negotiation might look like.
Amid all the bills aimed at shining light into the black box of U.S. drug pricing and ending anticompetitive games, the House is planning on rolling out legislation in September that would directly impact the price of what could be hundreds of drugs by requiring Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate some prices.
The best way to score political points is to actually do something about U.S. prescription drug prices. That's the message members of the New Democrat Coalition Health Care Task Force delivered Wednesday to their party leadership in the House, as they requested another vote next week on a package of bipartisan drug pricing bills – this time minus the partisan provisions that Democrats knew would never fly in a Republican-controlled Senate.
Now that the dust is still swirling over the news that Scott Gottlieb will leave the FDA, it’s time to conduct a hasty post-mortem on his tenure at the agency, or perhaps more to the point, his lack of tenure. While it’s tempting to frame the question that way, it might be more salient to ask about the nature of the FDA commissioner’s job and whether it is still sufficiently politically insulated to do what is asked of it. Gottlieb had been on the job...