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In a new lawsuit, pharma-backed patient groups fight federal rule around copay coupons

Three patient advocacy groups are suing the Biden administration to challenge a federal regulation they say prevents patients from using drugmaker discounts like copay coupons.

Pharmalittle: Murky online market for abortion pills is thriving; more ‘cash pay’ pharmacies decline insurance in the U.S.

A murky online market for abortion pills is thriving as some U.S. states tighten abortion restrictions.

In a massive victory for Democrats, Medicare is poised to negotiate drug prices

After a major vote Sunday, President Biden is on the verge of his own crowning health care achievement to call, in his words, a BFD.

Biden signs order on abortion access after Supreme Court ruling

President Biden signed an executive order Friday to protect access to abortion as he faced mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to be more forceful on the subject.

The FDA’s Rob Califf on importing drugs from Canada, on Aduhelm, and on opioids

The FDA commissioner has been busy with public appearances in recent days. Here’s what stood out to us from his remarks.

Pharmalittle: Investors reject proposals for Covid vaccine makers to share know-how; CMS head says Alzheimer’s drug decision is rare

CMS head Chiquita Brooks-LaSure says the agency expects to keep covering drugs that the FDA approves through its fast-track accelerated approval pathway, despite its recent decision on Biogen's Aduhelm.

Medicare’s Brooks-LaSure expects restrictions on accelerated approval drugs, like those for Aduhelm, to be ‘very rare’

“We have in the past and certainly expect that we will continue to cover accelerated approvals. This isn’t a referendum on any decisions that we might make in the future,” Medicare's Brooks-LaSure said.

‘Precedents are important’: Aduhelm coverage restrictions could shape the future of accelerated approval

“It creates a concerning precedent that could be applied to other accelerated approval drugs in the future,” said John Maraganore, former CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

CMMI’s Fowler on health policy’s ‘stubborn challenges,’ her personal ties to medicine

Liz Fowler’s career just came full circle: last March, she took charge of the health policy innovation center she crafted as a congressional staffer 12 years ago.

Inside the push for a permanent pandemic preparedness office at the White House

The Senate health committee is set to mark up a major pandemic preparedness package that includes a brand-new, permanent White House office.

In New York appearance, CMS administrator pushes for Congress to act on drug prices

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure used an appearance in New York to push for legislative solutions to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure

Last May, Brooks-LaSure was appointed to the top spot of CMS, becoming the first Black administrator to lead the $1 trillion-plus federal agency that finances health care for older people, low-income individuals, and children. A former Obama administration official, Brooks-LaSure has spent her first year on the job pursuing the Biden administration’s health goals. Those…

With its Aduhelm proposal, Medicare is stepping into a heated debate about how best to improve equity in Alzheimer’s treatment

With its new proposal to restrict access to an Alzheimer’s drug, Medicare is stepping into a heated debate about how best to address inequities in treatment for the condition.

Medicare starts process that could limit access to Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug

Federal officials announced they are starting a process to create guidelines for how Medicare will pay for Biogen’s controversial new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm.

Bipartisan pair of senators calls on Congress to examine expensive new Alzheimer’s drug 

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bill Cassidy want a hearing on Biogen’s controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. 

Biden’s Medicaid pressure tactics could put his team at odds with hospitals

The way the Biden administration is pressuring states to expand Medicaid is setting up a tussle with the hospital industry, too.

Top Senate Republican holds up Biden’s CMS nominee over Texas Medicaid waiver

Sen. John Cornyn is holding up Biden’s nominee to lead Medicare and Medicaid after the administration decided not to extend a Texas Medicaid waiver.

Hints emerge about a key Senate committee’s plans for health care

More than anything, the hearing was a forum for Senate Democrats to lay out the health care issues they want to address with their newfound majority. 

Xavier Becerra’s 4 most urgent challenges as Biden’s HHS secretary

Xavier Becerra has survived the worst of a tense confirmation battle, but soon he will face a bigger challenge — governing. Here are the 4 most urgent issues he'll face once he's confirmed as HHS secretary.

Biden to nominate Brooks-LaSure to oversee CMS

Biden plans to nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, a health policy consultant and veteran Democratic aide, as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

3 Biden staffers to watch in 2021

These three Biden advisers are already poised to play key health roles in his administration.