Trending News Today: Lawsuit Targets Role of PBMs in EpiPen Pricing

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Yesterday, GOP leaders made a new effort to revive healthcare reform. Vice President Mike Pence and 2 White House officials met with the House Freedom Caucus to make an offer to the group in exchange for their support. Under the offer, states could apply for a waiver to be exempt from several requirements imposed on insurers by the Affordable Care Act, including stopping the companies from writing policies for patients with serious diseases, according to The New York Times. The members of the group said they need to have written documentation of the offer prior to deciding if they would accept it. The lack of support from the Freedom Caucus was reported to contribute to the failure of the American Health Care Act, and GOP legislators are attempting to prevent another defeat by making this offer.

President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut federal spending on biomedical research has gained significant bipartisan criticism. The proposal would reduce spending by 18% ($5.8 billion). The plan was deemed “misguided” by members of both parties, who recently approved the 21st Century Cures Act, which would increase spending on research, The New York Times reported. Legislators believe that the cuts could be devastating for both patients and researchers seeking to find cures and treatments for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.

Mylan is facing a new lawsuit over the cost of its EpiPen, which caused outrage late last year over prices that increased from less than $100 in 2007 to more than $600 in 2016. The latest lawsuit alleges that Mylan is participating in a scheme with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to knock out competition and gain generous profits. While other lawsuits have been brought against the manufacturer over EpiPen pricing, the new case is the first to focus on the role PBMs may play, and brings the claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, according to The New York Times.

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