Hearings Over High Drug Prices Delayed Due To Partisan Atmosphere On Capitol Hill
Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says he's frustrated with how Democrats are approaching the issue. The delay is a gift for the pharmaceutical industry, which has worked to put the brakes on a number of congressional and administrative efforts to bring down prescription drug prices.
GOP Chair Puts Drug Pricing Hearings On Hold As He Awaits 'More Of A Bipartisan Attitude'
A key Senate Republican is suspending the chamber’s investigation into the high cost of prescription drugs, a hiatus he blames on Democrats’ unwillingness to focus on the issue amid the broader partisan rancor over Obamacare. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who helms the Senate health committee, said Thursday that he won’t hold an expected July hearing on the issue because he’s frustrated that Democrats used a June panel to blast Republicans for their work to repeal and replace Obamacare. (Mershon, 6/29)
In other pharmaceutical news —
FDA Announces Plan To Eliminate Backlog Of Rare Disease Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration unveiled a plan Thursday to speed the agency’s response to orphan drug requests, which doubled from 2012 to 2016. The plan is a top priority of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who has vowed to eliminate the current backlog of designation requests for orphan drugs, which treat rare diseases, and to streamline the agency’s review process so all new requests receive a response within three months. (Reid, 6/29)
Pension Funds Push For Mylan To Remove Chairman And A Director
After Mylan shareholders last week rebuked the drug maker by voting against executive compensation, three large pension funds are now calling for Mylan to remove its non-executive chairman and a director in hopes of restoring confidence in the beleaguered board. In explaining their reasoning, the funds pointed to an “astounding” 83.5 percent of shareholders who did not support executive pay, including a controversial, $97 million package given to non-executive chairman Robert Coury. The funds also noted that a majority of shareholders – 56 percent – voted against re-electing Wendy Cameron, the director who heads the Mylan compensation committee. (Silverman, 6/29)