Pharma Deploys Small Army Of Advocates To Fight Against The Budget Deal That Reportedly Contains Pricing Reforms
It isn’t clear yet what kind of policies Congress is considering that could hurt the pharmaceutical industry’s bottom line, but it has been reported that the reforms could cost the industry $115 billion. In other pharmaceutical news: the CVS-Aetna merger, hep C treatment and prisoners, biotech, and President Donald Trump's drug pricing strategy.
PhRMA Scrambles To Fight Potential Drug Pricing Reforms In Budget Deal
The drug industry’s lobbying group is calling on its lobbyists to push back on a potential budget deal that reportedly includes drug pricing reforms that will cost the industry $115 billion. In an email sent Thursday night to lobbyists both inside and outside the organization and obtained by STAT, PhRMA urged its small army of advocates to do all they can to block the potential deal, which is quickly becoming intertwined with a must pass, multibillion-dollar budget deal. (Florko, 7/19)
Both Feds, CVS Tout The Drug Giant's Merger With Aetna; Judge Not So Sure
During a two-hour hearing Friday on the proposed $69 billion merger between the two health-care giants, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon seemed to take exception to Department of Justice arguments that because the department had settled its concerns about the merger, there was no further need to review it. But Leon has consistently argued that it is the court’s job to review the merger under the Tunney Act, a 1974 law designed to determine whether mergers such as the CVS-Aetna union would create a monopoly. (Wehrman, 7/19)
The Associated Press:
Tennessee Must Mediate With Prisoners Over Hepatitis C Drugs
A federal judge on Friday ordered the state of Tennessee to mediate with a group of prisoners who are demanding treatment for their hepatitis C infections. The order by Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw came after a four-day trial that included emotional testimony from a mother whose son died of complications from hepatitis C while in state custody. Tennessee prisons saw at least 56 hepatitis C-related prisoner deaths between 2013 and 2017. (7/19)
Biotech Enters An Era Of ‘Platform’ Dominance
There was a time, back in biotech’s leaner years, when any company hoping to raise even a dollar needed a clear path to get a single drug through clinical trials. Now, in today’s gilded age of VC largesse, companies can raise nine-figure funding rounds without so much as deciding on a discrete disease area. Such so-called platform companies raised $659 million in Series A dollars the first half of 2019, according to the latest report from Silicon Valley Bank, leading all other biotech categories. (Garde, 7/19)
Kaiser Health News:
A Conservative Group Paints Trump’s Drug-Pricing Experiment As ‘Socialist.’ Is It?
As part of its effort to curb high prescription drug costs, the Trump administration is considering an experiment that has triggered strong opposition from Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist’s powerful conservative organization, which the president typically counts among his supporters. One of the most visible elements of the group’s battle plan is a nationwide commercial, on which it has spent almost half a million dollars, according to estimates by ad tracker iSpot.tv. It has been on the air since May. (Luthra, 7/22)