The Daily Scan

June 15, 2018

Last Updated: 8:50 AM EST

Litigation

 

  • Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit yesterday against Walgreens for its dual role as distributor and pharmacy in allegedly failing to legally monitor its own operations that shipped and dispensed large quantities of opioids through its more than 70 locations statewide. Beshear said the company’s actions flooded Kentucky communities with dangerous prescription drugs, directly contributing to the state’s drug epidemic. (Kentucky.gov)

Legislation

  • The state of Tennessee is seeking approval from CMS for an amendment to the state's TennCare II Demonstration which will implement a state policy enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly in April to favor childbirth and family planning services that do not include elective abortions within the continuum of care or services, and to avoid the direct or indirect use of state funds to promote or support elective abortions. Tennessee proposes to establish state-specific criteria for providers of family planning services that reflect this policy, and to limit participation in the TennCare demonstration to providers that meet these state criteria. Specifically, the state intends to exclude any entity that performed, or operated or maintained a facility that performed, more than 50 abortions in the previous year, including any affiliate of such an entity. (TN.gov)

 

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act by a strong bipartisan vote of 16 to 5.  The legislation, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would combat anticompetitive practices used by some brand-name pharmaceutical and biologic companies to block lower-cost generic drugs. (Judiciary.Senate.gov)

Regulation

  • Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic versions of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film (applied under the tongue) for the treatment of opioid dependence. “The FDA is taking new steps to advance the development of improved treatments for opioid use disorder, and to make sure these medicines are accessible to the patients who need them. That includes promoting the development of better drugs, and also facilitating market entry of generic versions of approved drugs to help ensure broader access,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. HHS Secretary Alex Azar also commented on the approval: "...We are so pleased that the FDA has approved generic versions of one medication-assisted treatment option. These approvals will help increase competition, lower cost, and save lives, advancing HHS’s priorities to lower drug prices and combat the opioid epidemic." (FDA.gov, HHS.gov

Private Sector

  • The longtime leader of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Massachusetts’ second-largest commercial health insurer, abruptly resigned earlier this week for what the company said was behavior “inconsistent” with its values. The company declined to specify what led to the departure of Eric H. Schultz, who had been chief executive and president of the Wellesley-based insurer since 2010. (BostonGlobe.com)

 

 

 

 

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