BIO challenges “Most Favored Nation” drug pricing plan

December 8, 2020
It’s another busy day in Washington. In the meantime, we have details on our legal challenge to the Trump administration’s drug pricing plan, as well as a look at a new report on the health impacts of climate change and how sustainable biobased fuels can help. (850…
BIO

It’s another busy day in Washington. In the meantime, we have details on our legal challenge to the Trump administration’s drug pricing plan, as well as a look at a new report on the health impacts of climate change and how sustainable biobased fuels can help. (850 words, 4 minutes, 15 seconds)

 

BIO challenges “Most Favored Nation” drug pricing plan

 
 

BIO made clear our intentions to use all tools at our disposal to fight the Trump administration’s “Most Favored Nation” drug pricing plan—and last week, we followed through. 

ICYMI: President Trump announced the interim final rule to implement the Most Favored Nation drug pricing model, which would tie prices of Medicare Part B drugs to the lowest prices paid in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. (We previously explained why it will endanger America’s most vulnerable patients and biomedical innovation.)

BIO led a legal challenge to Health and Human Services’ (HHS) plan. BIO, the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), and BIOCOM California filed the challenge in the Northern District of California.

We outline several arguments, including:

  • HHS is attempting to implement the plan without prior notice or opportunity for public comment.
  • HHS acknowledges in the rule that it cannot estimate the impact on patients and providers.
  • HHS lacks the authority to make sweeping changes to statutory Medicare rules through administrative fiat.

Read the filing. 

Dr. Michelle’s Diagnosis: As the president’s own team of economic advisors has indicated, not only will this rule have profound effects on patients’ ability to access important and life-saving medications, it will also dramatically hinder the operational capacity of America’s vibrant biotech companies—particularly smaller operations spearheading cutting-edge biomedical research. BIO will continue to fight against policies that threaten future medical innovation and the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable Americans. – BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath 

Read more coverage of the lawsuit in BioCentury and STAT News.

 

More Health Care News:

BBC: First person receives Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in UK
“Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said it was the ‘best early birthday present.’ She was given the injection at 06:31 GMT—the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be given in the coming weeks.”

 
 
 
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Climate change is killing us—but sustainable fuels can help

 
 

Climate change is here, and it’s already killing Americans, according to The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, a report by a team of scientists and public health experts. Here’s what they said and how sustainable fuels can help.

“Heat-related mortality for older people in the US has almost doubled in the past two decades, reaching a record high of 19,000 deaths in 2018,” explains Global Citizen, reporting on the findings. 

“Besides extreme heat, the public health experts also identified wildfires and air pollution as immediate dangers to Americans,” continues Global Citizen

These findings aren’t surprising. Harvard and the University of Cambridge found air pollution increases the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. 

What’s the cause? “Climate change and air pollution have the same root cause—the burning of fossil fuels,” said Renee Salas, a lead author of the report and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. 

So we must move away from fossil fuels, says the report, to low-carbon and zero-carbon options including transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuels and renewable diesel, which produces “between 50 and 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel,” reports The New York Times

Sustainable fuels made from renewable resources and waste are a critical element of solving our climate and economic crises. We can't rely on electric vehicles alone and need solutions that can be deployed across all forms of transportation—from air to land and sea.

Learn more about sustainable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuels.

And stay tuned—later this week, we’ll take a look at what the report said about sustainable agriculture practices and why we need gene editing. 

 
 
 
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Join BIO's Dr. Michelle at BLUE KNIGHT, convened by Johnson & Johnson and BARDA.
 
 

In seeking to combat emerging infectious diseases and other 21st-century health threats, the path to better prepared, protected, and healthy individuals, families, and communities could rely on unlocking the collective power of the global community.

BLUE KNIGHT™ seeks to answer this call.

On December 8-10, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and BARDA will virtually convene the emerging Blue Knight community of thought leaders (including BIO's Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath), innovators and entrepreneurs for a three-day symposium, including interactive sessions focused on key areas of interest in infectious disease, public health, and company acceleration. Sessions will explore high priority areas of interest for scientific and technological innovation aimed for improving our preparedness and response to emerging health security threats.

Click here to register.

 
 
 
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BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
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President Trump’s Tuesday: The White House will hold a “vaccine summit” with “drug distributors, pharmacies, and logistics companies,” per CNBC

President-elect Biden’s Tuesday: He’s expected to introduce his health nominees and appointees today, “a list that underscores that his COVID-19 response will be led far more by career government scientists and lower-level health agency deputies than has been the case during the Trump administration,” says STAT News.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The House is expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and continue work on a stopgap funding bill and coronavirus relief. Meanwhile, a busy hearing schedule this week:

12/8 (Today) at 10:00 AM ET | House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity: Identifying Congressional and Administration Priorities for the Next Congress: How We Can Support Our Veterans Through and After COVID-19

12/8 (Today) at 10:00 AM ET | Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution, Part II 

12/9 at 10:00 AM ET | Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee: VA’s Response to COVID-19 across the VA Enterprise 

12/10 at 9:30 AM ET | Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety: The Logistics of Transporting a COVID-19 Vaccine 

12/10 at 10:00 AM ET | Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations: Combatting the Opioid Crisis: Oversight of the Implementation of the STOP Act

12/10 at 10:00 AM ET | Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship: Small Business in Crisis: The 2020 Paycheck Protection Program and its Future

 
 
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