Is Now The Time For Mental Health Overhaul?
The recent spate of shootings has some lawmakers and mental health advocates eyeing legislation to reform the nation's mental health care system. In other legislative news, some Capitol Hill lawmakers ask about the safety of a popular blood thinner, and two Democrats make a case for new policies to lower prescription drug prices.
Is This The Moment For Long-Stalled Mental Health Overhaul?
After a summer of slayings, lawmakers and mental health advocates say they have more momentum than at any time in recent history to push through an overhaul of the nation's broken mental health system. The opening they see involves timing, bill tweaking and sheer perseverance — a House lawmaker obsessed with the issue for many years teaming up with a powerful chairman, Fred Upton (R-Mich.) of the House Energy and Commerce committee. In the Senate, meanwhile, a bipartisan bill drew strong interest over recess from lawmakers facing pressure from people back home to do something. (Ehley, 9/10)
Congressional Leaders Ask FDA About Coumadin Safety
The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is asking the Food and Drug Administration how it monitors the safety of the popular blood thinner Coumadin, particularly in light of deaths and hospitalizations of nursing home residents taking the drug. Our analysis of government inspection reports found that, between 2011 and 2014, at least 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after errors involving Coumadin or its generic version, warfarin. In some cases, homes gave residents too much of the drug, which caused internal bleeding. In other cases, they gave residents too little, leading to blood clots and strokes. (Ornstein, 9/10)
Sanders, Cummings Push For Lower Prescription Drug Prices
On a day new polling showed him pulling ahead in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders was at the Capitol, pushing to cut prescription drug prices. The independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats was joined by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., to unveil a wide-ranging overhaul of policies regarding the pharmaceutical business, including transparency requirements, a proposal to end the practice of “pay-for-delay” patent settlements and Medicare price bargaining. (Lesniewski, 9/10)