Policy

Trade representatives for Canada and Mexico met last week over the ratification and implementation of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and press reports say that the Trump administration is considering acceding to Democrats’ demands to reduce patent protections for reference biologics in order to get the pact through Congress.
HR 3 proposes targeting for negotiation those drugs that consume a large share of the healthcare budget and that have limited biosimilar or generic competition. Writing in a perspective article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Peter B. Bach, MD, MAAP, a noted critic of high drug prices, proposed a different set of targets.
With debate and argument over what is to blame for high drug pricing, this report sought to examine the executives’ reasoning and attitudes behind pricing decisions.
The European Commission has released a new report that highlights the role that biosimilars and generics will have in the wellbeing of European healthcare systems in the years ahead.
Universal access to affordable essential medicines remains an unmet goal, and while the World Health Organization has been attempting to address this problem through prequalification of drugs like insulin to help ensure access for patients in low-resource areas, costs for many products remain prohibitive.
The issue of whether to switch patients currently taking biologics to biosimilars has been playing out in Canada over the past week, as mandated switching begins in British Columbia, while a reference product maker fights against a possible similar change in 2 other provinces.
How much does the price of common drugs vary across the globe? A UK digital healthcare startup collected that information to display the disparities across 50 countries for 13 often-used pharmaceuticals, including adalimumab and insulin glargine.
Based on the number of bills coming through Congress, it is clear that biosimilars have become synonymous with decreasing healthcare costs. Even with only a few biosimilars commercially available thus far, the federal push towards these drugs has been pronounced.
President Trump’s choice to lead the FDA faced some questions, but not many, about drug pricing, according to various press reports about the Senate committee hearing Thursday regarding the nomination of Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, the chief medical officer of MD Anderson Cancer Center.
With more choices available in 2020 for Medicare stand-alone Part D drug plans, beneficiaries should compare choices, especially if they are not low income or on specialty drugs or drugs not on the payer’s formulary, according to a new analysis.

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