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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda will focus largely on Mrs. Pharmalot as she turns another page on the calendar and also on fostering a potential mascot — wish us luck. And of course, we hope to squeeze in another listening party. The rotation will likely include this, this, this and this. And what about you? Once again, this is a wonderful time to enjoy the great outdoors — beaches, woods, and lakes are beckoning. Or you could putter about your castle — a little spring cleaning is a good thing. And if mom is around, remember to say hi. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon. …

The U.S. Senate health committee passed a package of bills aimed at speeding generic drug competition and reining in pharmacy benefit managers, but it failed to pass an ambitious reform despite strong bipartisan support, STAT explains. The committee passed, 18 to 3, a bill that would ban pharmacy benefit managers from using spread pricing. The bill would also require that pharmacy benefit managers disclose rebates, fees, and other payments they receive and pass them on to the insurers for whom they negotiate the concessions. Lawmakers did not vote on a bill that would ban pharmacy benefit managers from charging administrative fees based on a percentage of a drug’s list price.


Pfizer chief executive officer Albert Bourla indicated that pharmaceutical companies will likely take legal action against Medicare drug price negotiations, CNBC tells us. Bourla referred to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that will allow the Medicare program to negotiate prices on the costliest prescription drugs each year. Bourla called the plan “negotiation with a gun to your head.” The first negotiations start in September and new prices will go into effect in 2026. He said the most “certain way” to stop negotiations would be to call on Congress to introduce legislation that will revise the plan, but noted he is “not optimistic” about that happening.

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