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Staffers Say Congress Might Consider Making Plans Pay Bigger Share Of Part D Drug Costs

Congress might consider making health plans pay a greater share of Part D drug costs, GOP and Democratic aides said Friday (Feb. 16), a week after Congress shifted nearly all of plans coverage-gap financial liability to drug makers.

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House and Senate lawmakers worry about the effects of pharmacy benefit manager consolidation, and nominees to the Federal Trade Commission said they expect FTC to review past PBM mergers.

Although Congress reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program for a decade, children’s advocates said Republicans retained the so-called funding cliff, which means lawmakers will have to negotiate offsets again when it comes time to renew CHIP.

FDA published five neurological disease-specific guidance documents as part of its efforts to clearly communicate scientific and regulatory information more efficiently through practical, more concise guidance, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Thursday (Feb. 15).

Newly minted HHS Secretary Alex Azar agreed to look into the legality of Idaho’s plan to significantly change the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace after Democratic lawmakers pushed the Secretary on the issue during Thursday (Feb. 15) budget hearings in the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Democratic senators praised FDA Tuesday (Feb. 13) for the agency's efforts to moderate the use of antibiotics in animals in an effort to reduce instances of antimicrobial resistance.

The future of a number of pain patient advocacy organizations and professional societies may be on shaky ground following the Tuesday (Feb. 13) release of a damning report that revealed 13 of these groups -- along with a non-patient-focused organization, the Washington Legal Foundation -- received nearly $9 million in funding over a five-year period from major opioid manufacturers.

A number of pain management-focused patient advocacy groups and professional societies are on the defense after the release of a report showing that about 14 groups received nearly $9 million in funding from opioid manufacturers over a five-year period.

Patients for Biologics Safety & Access is calling on FDA to rework portions of its newly released web page meant to educate prescribers about biosimilars, with the group suggesting changes aimed at downplaying the agency's safety assurances.

Blue Cross of Idaho announced Wednesday (Feb. 14) that it will offer five new state-based plan options in response to GOP Gov. Butch Otter's controversial executive order that allows issuers to sell products that are non-compliant with all ACA insurance mandates, which health care experts say is a violation of federal law and puts the company at risk of federal penalties.