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Daily News

February 07, 2019

Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday (Feb. 7) that it would be the first drug maker to disclose list prices in its television advertisements, the Associated Press first reported.

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FDA on Thursday (Feb. 7) announced it is barring a Walgreens store in Miami and a Circle K store in Charleston, SC, from selling tobacco products for 30 days due to repeated violations of sales and distribution restrictions, including selling cigars and menthol cigarettes to minors.

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The American Hospital Association (AHA), in a report Monday (Feb. 4), called on CMS and Congress to reduce regulations facing rural hospitals and back away from Medicare cuts -- calls echoed by rural health advocates at the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Policy Institute Tuesday (Feb. 5).

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The Senate health committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday (Feb. 12) to discuss progress in developing non-addictive pain therapies, how health care providers can better treat pain patients and potential federal barriers to improving care for people with pain.

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February 06, 2019

House Democrats laid plans for a hearing next Wednesday to examine three bills that would reverse Trump administration policies they say undermined the Affordable Care Act. Energy & Commerce health subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-CA) said her panel would weigh bills to revoke the short-term health plan rule, revive the ACA advertising budget and overturn the administration’s revised guidance on the 1332 waiver.

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The House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee spent more time debating whether to hold a hearing on Medicare for All than discussing the stated subject of Wednesday’s hearing -- the implications of the ongoing federal case in Texas that could upend Obamacare.

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The Idaho Supreme Court on Tuesday (Feb. 5) upheld the state’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion, rejecting a lawsuit from a conservative group that argued the ballot measure delegated too much power to the federal government.

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A group of drug makers and other health care stakeholders wrote to Senate health and Finance committee leaders on Tuesday (Feb. 5) asking them to pass a package of incentives to boost antibiotic development, saying pharmaceutical companies and investors are losing interest in the field due to a lack of return on new product development.

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Rural Health Association of Tennessee Executive Director Rebecca Jolley said she is cautiously optimistic that CMS won’t approve the state’s request to add work requirements to its Medicaid program, as the state has not expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act, and she added that she’s nervous about the disproportionate impact such a program would have on rural areas.

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Despite warnings from the medical device industry that FDA would be slammed by a backlog of medical product applications that piled up during the shutdown, a former FDA advisory told Inside Health Policy the agency’s user fee-funded activities should return to normal operations and workload shortly.

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The Senate health committee discussed the potential for telehealth to reduce health care costs and improve access to primary care at a hearing on Tuesday (Jan. 6), but some said the lack of access to broadband in rural communities as well as originating site rules hinder its use.

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FDA on Wednesday (Feb. 6) finalized guidance detailing the types of clinical studies and novel endpoints that can be used to support approval of depot buprenorphine products and how sponsors should design efficacy trials.

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CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency plans to open up the financial alignment demonstration for those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid to new states, and shortly afterwards duals center chief Tim Englehardt said the results are increasingly positive for those states currently participating.

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday night (Feb. 5) called for legislation to make insurance companies and hospitals, as well as drug companies, disclose their prices to help bring down costs, a move the White House said would help stop surprise billing.

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Democrats were not impressed with the president’s pledge during his State of the Union address to lower drug prices because he didn’t mention government price negotiation.

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The American Cancer Society Action Network (ACS CAN) applauded President Donald Trump’s call in his State of the Union address for Congress to provide $500 million over the next 10 years to fund research for new childhood cancer therapies.

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Patient advocates and health care experts welcomed President Donald Trump’s pledge Tuesday night to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, but also stressed the administration must make policy shifts that embrace comprehensive health care and reject discriminatory actions in order for the ambitious project to succeed. Democrats argued the administration’s previous actions have undermined, not supported, the battle against the disease.

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February 05, 2019

Maine Community Health Options (MCHO), one of dozens of issuers that sued the government over its failure to pay about $12 billion in risk corridor payments owed to industry, has officially asked the Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit appeals court’s decision in favor of the administration.

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The new Democratic chair of the House subcommittee that handles HHS appropriations pledged Tuesday (Feb. 5) to use her position not just for budgeting purposes but also for aggressive oversight of Trump administration policies on the Affordable Care Act.

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House Democrats will spend the morning after the president’s State of the Union address investigating the impact of the administration’s policy decisions over the Affordable Care Act in three subcommittee hearings slated to take place simultaneously.

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