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Brand Rx Makers Push Trade Deal That Restricts U.S. Ability To Curb Rx Spending

Just as the country is on the verge of a significant increase in drug spending, brand-drug makers are lobbying for a trade deal that could severely constrain the ability of Medicare to curb drug prices, consumer groups warn.

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Echoing provider and patient complaints, congressional Medicare advisers say CMS should delay the looming dialysis star rating system until it can get public feedback and justify a second-quality measure system.

Enroll America doesn't plan to expand the number of states where it placed field staff to get people insured but it will be launching some new tools and doing more active recruitment of assisters going into the forthcoming open enrollment period, the non-profit's president tells Inside Health Policy.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner for External Relations Peter Pitts said the agency has been too quiet in escalating debates about opioid regulation and has missed recent opportunities to explain the science behind its decisions.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association is worried that an FDA proposal to deter opioid abuse could result in generic drugs being blocked from entering the market -- similar to what generic manufacturers say has been the effect of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies.

Value-based purchasing programs often penalize providers for costs that are beyond their control, which may discourage them from seeing the sickest patients, according to a study from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

CMS in new federal contracting documents says the federal exchange enrolled around 6 million consumers into qualified health plans for 2014 and in 2015 it anticipates total FFM enrollment will land between 8 million and 9 million people.

Avalere Health urges policymakers looking to expand the scope of the Medicare medication therapy management program to factor in new data showing that less than half of Medicare Part D beneficiaries eligible for MTM actually receive those services.

Hospitals and seniors advocates are using Finance Committee senators' request for advice on health care data transparency to get more information on Medicare Advantage and Part D.