Holiday Spending, Washington Style
By Michelle Leeds and Paul Tyahla
In a mad dash to wrap up several big legislative actions (impeachment, anyone?) and head home for the holidays, Congress this week passed a massive $1.4 trillion spending bill that, among many provisions, would make it easier for biosimilars developers to get the sample materials they need from brand biologics makers. Included in the bill were provisions from the CREATES act, such as a component designed to make it easier for generic manufacturers to obtain samples of branded products.
Notably missing from the package was language designed to curb surprise medical bills incurred at hospitals by out-of-network providers, even when the hospital is covered in-network by a patient's insurance. The bill also does not include any of the more aggressive measures we've seen this year that are designed to curb drug prices (such as international reference pricing or inflation caps on price increases).
Earlier in the week, the Administration issued advanced notice that it would be proposing a rule allowing for drug importation from Canada. But given it would require manufacturer cooperation, the proposed rule is not expected to have as significant a real-world impact as first thought.
Although it was a very successful year for the Pharma lobby, these issues are going nowhere in the public dialogue. While some policymakers will try to make the case publicly that they've "done something" on drug prices, their opponents will continue trying to appeal to populist sentiment that drug prices are too high.
Who wrote this? The managing editor of TWTW is Randi Kahn, who is excited to share The Year That Was with readers next week! Syneos Health Communications' Reputation & Risk Management Practice is a team of healthcare communications consultants, policy-shapers and crisis response specialists. We provide unique solutions to the evolving communications challenges in today’s healthcare industry, using evidence-based approaches to help our clients successfully navigate the most sensitive of situations.
Got thoughts? Contact Randi
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