Trending News Today: Cancer Institute Chief Ned Sharpless Named Acting FDA Commissioner

Top news of the day from across the health care industry.

Ned Sharpless, MD, head of the National Cancer Institute, has been named acting FDA commissioner following the announcement of Scott Gottlieb’s resignation, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, Sharpless currently heads the National Institute of Health’s cancer division, which directs billions in federal funding and grants for research. Sharpless will temporarily lead the FDA next month after Gottlieb’s departure and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the search for a new FDA commissioner is underway, the article reported.

The US Senate Finance Committee has invited executives from 5 pharmacy benefit managers to testify in an upcoming drug pricing hearing on April 3, Reuters reported. According to the article, the committee heard from 7 pharmaceutical company executives last month and held a previous hearing on insulin affordability. Executives from UnitedHealth Groups’ Optum, Cigna Corp, Humana Inc, CVS Health Corp, CVS Caremark, and Prime Therapeutics LLC have been invited to the hearing, which is the third to be held on rising prescription drug costs, the article reported.

A new analysis found that a majority of the proposed Medicare cuts in the Trump administration’s budget are payments to hospitals and physicians, The Hill reported. According to the article, the analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget determined that approximately 85% of the cuts come from reductions in payments to hospitals and physicians, not cuts to seniors’ benefits. The one area that could raise costs for some seniors account for 11% of the proposed Medicare cuts, which includes changes to a formula in Medicare Part D, the article reported.