Y

et another legislative effort is underway to allow drug makers to provide health plans with key data about their medicines before regulatory approval. Specifically, a House subcommittee recently endorsed the notion, which would grant the pharmaceutical industry a long-standing wish, but has consumer advocates on edge.

Here’s why: Drug makers have regularly argued they should be permitted to provide scientific and economic information to health plan committees that decide which medicines to cover. By conveying such data, health plans can get a jump on making budget decisions that can take weeks or months. And the sooner a drug is covered by insurance, the sooner a drug maker can ring the proverbial register.

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