Drug Pricing Caught In Political Sniping Between Trump, Pelosi
A weekly round-up of stories related to pharmaceutical development and pricing.
Pelosi, Trump Engage In Real-Time Messaging War On Impeachment, Legislating
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump engaged in a real-time messaging war Wednesday as the president live-tweeted his responses to the California Democrat’s weekly press conference. Pelosi, who announced last week the House was conducting an “official” impeachment inquiry into Trump, opened the press conference by talking about legislation Democrats are crafting to address prescription drug prices. She said she hoped Trump would want to work on that despite the White House threatening to shut down the legislative process because of the impeachment inquiry. “I hope he doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to work together to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” she said. (McPherson, 10/2)
The Star Tribune:
Legislators On The Road In Southern Minnesota Hear About Skyrocketing Drug Prices
Lawmakers who trekked to Rochester and the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday heard about skyrocketing prescription drug prices and offered assurances that stemming the rise will continue to be a top priority at the Capitol next year. Many of the lawmakers had boarded a coach bus at the Capitol in the morning, bound for the first legislative “mini-session” in more than two decades. The House-only event involves three days of hearings on topics from drug affordability to wastewater treatment to child-care shortages. (Van Berkel, 10/2)
Did Pfizer’s ‘Golden Ticket’ Funding Live Up To The Hype?
Traditionally, Golden Tickets lead to chocolate rivers or everlasting gobstoppers. For biotech startups, though, Golden Tickets lead to something with (potentially) fewer pitfalls: money from major pharmaceutical companies. On Thursday, Pfizer (PFE) announced it would give two startups, Neutrolis and Mediar Therapeutics, so-called Golden Tickets to LabCentral, a noted Cambridge, Mass., biotech incubator. (Sheridan, 10/2)
Judge Tosses Suits Alleging Lilly And Bayer Used Nurses To Push Drugs
In a boost for the pharmaceutical industry, a federal judge dismissed a pair of lawsuits that alleged two large drug makers devised schemes in which nurses were used illegally to promote their medicines and boost prescriptions, an arrangement that purportedly violated federal kickback laws. The ruling is also a win for the federal government as it attempts to implement a new policy for dismissing whistleblower lawsuits when declining to intervene, or join the case. A Department of Justice memo issued last year directed its attorneys to consider moving to dismiss lawsuits if they appear deficient or following an investigation of claims made by the whistleblower. (Silverman, 10/2)
The Baltimore Sun:
University Of Maryland Study Uses Tiny Bubbles In Hopes Of Getting Cancer-Fighting Drugs Inside The Brain
With brain cancers, “normally chemotherapy gets in a little but not a lot,” said Dr. Graeme F. Woodworth, a neurosurgeon in the University of Maryland School of Medicine who is testing the method on Miller and 14 other people. "In the future, we’re hoping we can provide our drugs of choice a way to get in. We’re hoping we can use it for lots of things.” ...Radiation and chemotherapy are commonly used to slow new cancer growth, but usually aren’t effective for long with these brain cancers. Federal figures show the median survival is 15 to 18 months. About 15% of patients survive five years. (Cohn, 10/2)
Hospital, Insurers Oppose Forced Disclosure Of Negotiated Prices
Hospitals and health insurers may not see eye to eye on a lot, but they do agree that the federal government's proposal to make hospitals publicly post payer-negotiated rates for medical services would be bad for business and patients. In comments on the hospital outpatient prospective payment proposed rule, which were due Friday, they urged the CMS to abandon the plan. (Livingston, 9/30)