News & Views: 12/22 - 1/4

January 5, 2021

Lawsuits against President Trump’s Most Favored Nation rule have halted the demonstration from moving forward.

While there have been multiple lawsuits against the Most Favored Nation demonstration, PhRMA and BIO’s lawsuits have progressed faster than the others. Judge Catherine Blake first issued a 14-day restraining order based on PhRMA’s lawsuit. In the time since the first ruling, a temporary injunction has also been issued against the demonstration, as a result of BIO’s lawsuit. To review the full article, click here.

The Trump administration finalized President Trump’s previous executive order to lower the costs of insulin and Epi-Pens to low-income patients.

The final rule, which was unchanged from the proposed rule, is intended to lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs by passing 340B discounts directly to patients who are uninsured, have a high unmet deductible, or have a high cost-sharing for either of the two drugs. The rule is set to go into effect later this month on January 22. Experts have been critical of the rule, as there is little evidence that it will successfully lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. To read the full article click here.

After months of lawsuits urging HHS to intervene in protecting the 340B discount program, they have issued an official advisory opinion.

The opinion stated that manufacturers are obligated to provide the 340B discounts, which includes discounts to hospitals that use contract pharmacies. Advocates for the 340B program appreciated the statement but have stated that it does not go far enough to enforce the program. Drug manufacturers oppose the advisory opinion and insist that the whole 340B program needs to be fixed so that it can no longer be used as a means for hospitals to profit off of. To review the complete opinion, click here.

Researchers from Columbia University, Boston University, and Harvard University published their comparison of utilization, costs, and quality of Medicaid vs subsidized private health insurance for low-income adults in JAMA.

Among variables tested, researchers evaluated the prescription drug utilization of both populations of adults who enrolled in health insurance in Colorado between 2014-2015. Prescription costs were found to be $6.82 for adults with private insurance and only $2.40 for adults with Medicaid. Even though the cost-sharing was more expensive with private insurance, the study found that more prescriptions are filled with private insurance than with Medicaid. To read the full study, click here.

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