Democrats Write to Trump on Drug Prices

A group of Democratic members of the House of Representatives have written to the President asking that he address rising drug costs through a provision in the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. When taxpayer funding has contributed to a new drug patent, this statute allows the President to require the patent holder to license it to a third-party if the benefits are not “available to the public on reasonable terms.” The lawmakers also advise the President to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to issue guidelines on circumstances that would trigger the administration to invoke this authority. “American taxpayers should be able to access publicly-funded medications on reasonable terms, instead of being burdened with unreasonable prices,” the lawmakers say. The letter was led by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and signed by 50 other House Democrats.

Trump Administration Staff Announcements

President Trump has nominated Stephen Parente, PhD, MPH, MS to be the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Parente is a University of Minnesota economist who previously worked as a health policy advisor to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He also serves as an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and as governing chair of the Health Care Cost Institute. Russ Vought has been nominated to serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mr. Vought previously worked as the Vice President of Grassroots Outreach for Heritage Action for America, and has served on the President’s transition team. He worked as a budget aid to Vice President Mike Pence during his time in
the House of Representatives, and as the Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee.

Recently Introduced Health Legislation

H.R. 1854 (introduced by Rep. Jenkins): A bill to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs and to facilitate information sharing among States; Energy and Commerce

H.R.1871 (introduced by Rep. John J. Faso): To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to reduce Federal financial participation for certain States that require political subdivisions to contribute towards the non-Federal share of Medicaid; Energy and Commerce

H.R.1876 (introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn): To amend the Public Health Service Act to limit the liability of health care professionals who volunteer to provide health care services in response to a disaster; Energy and Commerce, Judiciary

H.R.1898 (introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to, and utilization of, bone mass measurement benefits under part B of the Medicare program by establishing a minimum payment amount under such part for bone mass measurement; Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means

S.808 (introduced by Sen. John Thune): A bill to provide protections for certain sports medicine professionals who provide certain medical services in a secondary State; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.815 (introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson): A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to make premium and cost-sharing subsidies available to low-income Medicare part D beneficiaries who reside in Puerto Rico or another territory of the United States; Finance

H.R.1904 (introduced by Rep. Pete Olson): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to align physician supervision requirements under the Medicare program for radiology services performed by advanced level radiographers with State requirements; Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means

H.R.1920 (introduced by Rep. Fred Upton): To amend part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to exclude customary prompt pay discounts from manufacturers to wholesalers from the average sales price for drugs and biologicals under Medicare, and for other purposes; Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means

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