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)