Drug Industry Perks Mostly Dropped From COVID-19 Bill, But A Big One Remains
Early versions of US Congress's coronavirus relief bill contained a number of policies that would have benefited drug firms, but they didn't make it into the final bill. However, the $2 trillion package does provide pharmaceutical companies with relief from the threat of drug pricing reform until after the 2020 elections.
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US House leadership's COVID-19 aid package focuses on cost sharing relief for patients to ensure access to treatments and vaccines for the virus. The Senate's legislative proposal tried to provide Medicare reimbursement incentives to providers to facilitate uptake, but some of those provisions were later dropped.
Senate and House versions of a pending coronavirus stimulus package take off the table a key legislative vehicle lawmakers planned to use to push for bipartisan drug pricing reform until at least after the 2020 elections, signaling a potential reprieve for the pharmaceutical industry.
In what could be the first major use of the Emergency Use Authorization pathway, manufacturers would be able to disseminate information based on ‘competent and reliable scientific evidence’ that is truthful, non-misleading and directed at population-level decision makers. The measure would define the CARSE standard in the FD&C Act for first time, attorneys say.