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OMB Signals Drug-Price Plan May Touch On Rebates, Part B Changes

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a notice expected to be part of the president’s April 26 announcement of a plan to lower drug costs, and lobbyists are taking the review as a sign the plan will ask for feedback on either Medicare Part D rebates or Part B policies.

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Senators Chris Murphy (CT) and Jeff Merkley (OR) introduced a new Democratic health care proposal that would allow all individuals, regardless of age, with private or public insurance to buy into Medicare.

Brand drug maker representatives met with CMS and White House budget officials to push for higher Medicare hospital inpatient reimbursement through changes to the MS-DRG system and the New Technology Add-on Payments, about which industry has raised concerns for years.

The Senate health committee pulled cosmetics legislation from the slate of bills it will mark up on April 24 as negotiations continue on the measure, a committee spokesperson told Inside Health Policy.

The ongoing battle between the insurance industry and a charity that supports end-stage renal disease patients by covering their commercial insurance payments heated up Tuesday (April 17) with both parties seeking immediate action by HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

On April 24, the Senate health committee will vote on bipartisan opioid and over-the-counter drug monograph reform legislation, but it will not mark up a cosmetic reform bill as previously promised by the committee chair, the committee announced Tuesday (April 17).

FDA's device center may ask Congress for authority to require medical device makers build cybersecurity into their upfront product designs and, once a product is marketed, to disclose any vulnerabilities as they are identified.

House appropriators used a Tuesday (March 17) hearing on FDA’s fiscal 2019 budget request to delve into the agency's approach toward tobacco -- leading FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to promise “very vigorous enforcement action” on youth use of vapor products in coming weeks.

House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL) called FDA's request for a 13 percent increase in funding over fiscal 2018 levels “the largest and boldest funding request in recent memory and maybe ever” and signaled it might have to be cut back, but Democrats argued the budget lacks enough funding for food safety and opioids.

A referendum on Medicaid expansion in Utah is on the verge of being added to the state's November ballot, and three other red states may not be far behind.