In July, the Trump administration withdrew its proposal to block rebates and discounts given by drug makers to pharmacy benefit managers, Part D plans, and Medicaid managed care organizations. Withdrawal of the rule was a discouraging development for many physicians who hoped that the proposal could give relief to their patients at the pharmacy counter. This week on the podcast, we’re speaking to one such physician, Madelaine Feldman, MD. 
Representative Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, and Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, have sent letters to executives of 3 generic drug makers in which they ask for drug pricing information as part of a probe into the rising cost of generics.
Concerns about overseas inspections continue in the wake of an HHS plan to create 2 potential pathways to allow the importation of some drugs that were intended for foreign markets.
The Canadian government has announced amendments to its regulations concerning patented drugs that it says will make medicines more affordable. According to Health Canada, these changes will save Canadians $13.2 billion (US $9.97 billion) over the next decade.
The August issue of JAMA Oncology features a Viewpoint that puts forth a free-market solution to lower high drug costs by changing dosing regimens without hurting efficacy using the approach of interventional pharmacoeconomics (IVPE).
The International Generic and Biosimilars Medicines Association (IGBA), which represents generic and biosimilar medicines associations worldwide, recently released its report on how trade agreements can foster generic and biosimilar medicines and improve patient access to care.
A study published this month proposes that biosimilars be assessed in a quantitative benefit-risk analysis to assess whether what the authors call “uncertainty in the clinical performance of biosimilars” can be countered by lower pricing. 
Not everyone shares the view that authorized generics are a boon, and concerns are rising that the marketplace may soon see the advent of authorized biologics.
Will biosimilars improve public health? Policy makers should look to that question as they sort through possible solutions, the authors say.
“We wish biosimilar competition would efficiently lower biologics prices to the socially optimal level of marginal economic cost,” wrote Bach and coauthors. “But, in this case, the ideological preference for competition needs to be put aside for a more effective, efficient, and economically justified approach of regulating biologics as natural monopolies.”

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