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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

First Generic Under-The-Tongue Film For Treating Opioid Addiction Approved

KHN Morning Briefing

The news is welcome as brand-name Suboxone film costs about $200 a month without insurance. In other news on the crisis: Kentucky sues Walgreens; vulnerable lawmakers look to win big political points with opioids package; mothers in treatment struggle to keep their children; and more.

In Midst Of Raucous Debate Over 340B Drug Discount Program, Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Address Concerns

KHN Morning Briefing

The measure from Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) could clarify the intent of the program and define which patients are eligible — two bones of contention over the program, which requires pharmaceutical companies to give steep discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve high volumes of low-income patients. In other news from Capitol Hill: CHIP funding, an Indian Health Services bill, and gun control.

Congress Is About To Consider 57 Bills On Opioid Crisis. But Will The Measures Do Anything To Curb The Epidemic?

KHN Morning Briefing

Even as lawmakers gear up to consider a sweeping package of opioid bills, some experts are doubtful the legislation will do enough to address the crisis. However, the bipartisan support for the measures speaks to the fact that lawmakers know it’s a winning topic for the upcoming midterms. Meanwhile, NIH has laid out its $500 million plan to combat the epidemic.

Trump’s Promised ‘Voluntary Massive Drops’ In Drug Prices Haven’t Materialized, But Azar Vows Cuts Are Coming

KHN Morning Briefing

HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified before a Senate panel on Tuesday about what’s being done to curb high drug prices. In his proposals, Azar focused on the complex system of rebates that drug companies and pharmacy-benefit managers use to negotiate and set prices. He also continued to float the idea of allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.

Candidates Tap Into Constituents’ Personal Struggles With Opioids To Woo Voters

KHN Morning Briefing

The opioid epidemic has become a campaign issue as the midterms approach, and, for once, Republicans and Democrats are using strikingly similar language to talk about the issue. Meanwhile, the House is expected to vote on a package of opioid bills next week and HHS Secretary Alex Azar defends the Trump administration’s approach to fighting the crisis.

‘Right-To-Try’ May Now Be Law Of The Land, But That Doesn’t Mean Companies Will Start Offering Up Their Drugs

KHN Morning Briefing

The legislation gives companies more wiggle room, but most say they are not going to use it. Patients are “no better off today with Right to Try than [they were] yesterday,” says Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU School of Medicine. In other pharma news: lawmakers want companies to develop new antibiotics but they’re not offering any extra incentives; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduces a bill to increase transparency over patient advocacy group payments; tips on getting around pharmacists’ gag rule; and more.