HHS Watchdog Sharpens Its Focus On Drug-Pricing Issues
Also, California Healthline explores how election results will change state and federal responses to controlling the price of prescription drugs.
HHS Watchdog Office Steps Up Focus On Drug Pricing
The HHS Office of Inspector General regularly compiles reports on such matters, whether in response to requests from Congress or to follow up issues, but is trying to widen its focus as questions accelerate about drug costs and the sources for some medicines, according to a new work plan released today. Among the new issues that are being studied: the amount of medicine that may be wasted when cancer treatments, for instance, are distributed in single vials; the amount of money the government might save in the Medicare Part B program if rebates were tied to inflation; and questionable billing for topical medicines that are compounded and covered by Medicare Part D. (Silverman, 11/10)
Momentum To Regulate Drug Prices Uncertain After Prop 61 Defeat, Republican Victories
Republican control of the White House and Congress erodes the possibility of federal action to control the price of prescription drugs, health policy experts say. Instead, policymaking to address the spiraling drug costs likely will be done on the state level. Yet the Election Day defeat of a California ballot measure to rein in drug prices may make local lawmakers less inclined to pursue that model of tamping down on drug prices, too. (Bartolone, 11/10)