The Week in Review in Drug Pricing

1. More $$$ for Big Pharma? Thank u, next. 

  • Drug companies are asking Congress to reduce their contributions to the Medicare Part D program. A new study finds that under the PhRMA proposal, beneficiaries could spend an additional $1.3 billion and patients would see increased premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs. — (PEW

2. Straight to the naughty list.

  • The drug maker Actelion Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay a $360 million settlement stemming from an investigation into illegally funneled kickbacks through a patient-assistance charity. — (NYTimes)

3. You get a patent! You get a patent! Everyone gets a patent! 

  • Drug giant Amgen has filed a grand total of 57 patents for its arthritis drug Enbrel, extending the drug's market exclusivity through 2029. — (Axios)

4. Lower prices or stock buybacks?

  • Multiple members of Congress criticize drug manufacturers for using savings from the tax overhaul to buy back shares rather than lowering prices for patients. — (WSJ

5. What do a Democratic senator and a Republican senator have in common? Drug pricing reform. 

  • Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Ron Wyden introduce a bipartisan drug pricing bill tackling manufacturers using tactics to overcharge taxpayers for Medicaid rebates. —  (The Hill)