All posts by Vince Sampson

Heath Provisions in President’s Budget Take Aim at Drug Prices and Opioid Abuse

Today, the President sent Congress the $4 trillion Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal – his last while in office.  While the Budget on the whole is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress, there are provisions worth noting because of their current newsworthiness and possible reemergence in future policy debates.  Moreover, proposals directed at addressing the […]

Senator Calls on Med Device Leaders to Improve Cybersecurity

Late last week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote to the leaders of Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Siemens USA, Medtronic and Philips USA, to “express serious concerns” about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their medical devices.  From the letter, the rationale for selecting these companies is that together they “control more […]

Senate opts for “Step by Step” approach for innovation legislation

Tuesday, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced  that he will pursue a “step by step” approach to crafting major biomedical innovation legislation.  This is a marked departure from both the House-passed 21st Century Cures bill and the previously announced Senate plan.

Key Health-Related Provisions Tucked into Year End Spending Bill

Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (“the Omnibus”). This legislation contains both $1.1 trillion in government spending for FY16 as well as $650 billion in tax breaks. The Omnibus includes several health care related provisions, both on the funding and tax sides. This post highlights some of the more significant items.

Joining the Debate, Hillary Clinton Releases Plan to Curb Drug Prices

In the wake of the uproar about drug pricing, Hillary Clinton unveiled on Tuesday, a plan to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. The plan will focus on ending “excessive” profits, lowering out-of-pocket costs, encouraging greater competition from generics and biologics and leveraging Medicare to negotiate drug prices. To […]

Trend watch: First Amendment challenges to FDA promotional requirements continue

In the wake of Amarin Pharma’s victory in securing a preliminary injunction against the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) prohibition of off-label communication of Vacepa , Pacira Pharmaceuticals has filed a First Amendment challenge to the FDA’s attempt to restrict communications about its postsurgical pain drug, Exparel. Pacira’ s lawsuit, […]

21st Century Cures Passes House of Representatives; Ups the Ante for HHS Grant and Contracting Fraud

Earlier today H.R. 6, “21st Century Cures”, passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote of 344-77.  Among the myriad provisions, the bill contains language creating civil money penalties (CMPs) for fraudulent grants and contracting with the Department of Health of Human Services (HHS). According to a summary of the bill […]

Congress Takes Step Towards Scrapping Device Tax

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 280-140 to pass H.R. 160, a bill that eliminates the 2.3 percent medical device tax. The vote was strongly bipartisan with 46 Democrats joining all Republicans voting in favor of scrapping the tax. The vote came amid the threat of a veto from the […]

Lawmakers release new version of 21st Century Cures legislation

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of representatives from the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee released a new discussion draft of the 21st Century Cures initiative.  This draft is the latest step in the Committee’s year-long attempt to accelerate new medical innovations and improving the way they are brought to market.  According […]

Medical Device Tax Repeal Shows Signs of Life

Despite making it a priority following the 2014 elections, Congress has not been able to move legislation repealing the medical device tax. However, recent developments show that Congress may finally be making progress. Last week the Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Health Care, held a hearing to take testimony on the tax’s negative […]