Trending News Today: Senate Health Committee to Vote on Gag Clause Ban in Pharmacies

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

The Senate health committee will vote next week on a bill that would ban “gag clauses” that prohibit pharmacies from telling patients when they can save money on a medication, The Hill reported. According to the article, the bill would ban the use of these clauses, which currently prevent a pharmacist from telling a customer that they can save money on a drug if they pay with cash instead of insurance. The committee will vote on the ban on July 15, the article reported.

The FDA released a new action plan aimed at improving the agency’s process for approving biosimilars, STAT reported. According to the article, the plan outlines a series of 11 steps the FDA will take to encourage the biosimilar market, including clarifications to the regulatory process and improving communication between physicians, hospitals, insurers, and others. In remarks on Wednesday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, accused biologic drug manufacturers of using “unacceptable” anti-competitive tactics to keep competitors off the market, contributing to high costs, the article reported.

A new study has found that alcohol-related liver failure deaths have increased among US young adults, Reuters reported. According to article, cirrhosis deaths among individuals aged 25 to 34 years increased by 10.5% each year between 2009 and 2016 and annual deaths between 1999 and 2016 increased by 65%. Overall, deaths due to liver cancer more than doubled, increasing from 5112 to 11,073 annually, the article reported.