In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Efforts to control and track the mosquitos that carry the Zika virus have been hampered by lack of resources. (Emily Kopp, 10/10)
Pricey and unproven therapies that sound too good to be true probably are. (Emily Bazar, 10/10)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Rat Chat'" by Alex Hallatt.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
THINKING ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S DEBATE
In all of that talk
What was really said about
Health care policy?
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
Much as they have for the entirety of the campaign, Donald Trump said he wants to repeal the law while Hillary Clinton maintained that she wants to fix what's wrong with it. Meanwhile, media outlets fact checked the candidates' claims about health care.
The Hill: Trump, Clinton Clash Over Repealing ObamaCare
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred over ObamaCare at the presidential debate Sunday night, with Trump calling to repeal it entirely and Clinton acknowledging flaws but calling for improvements. Trump, the GOP nominee, and other Republicans have put a focus on premium hikes, and Trump pointed to them as evidence of the need to repeal the law. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, agreed that premiums and healthcare costs in general are a problem but called for going forward, not starting over. (Sullivan, 10/9)
Modern Healthcare: Trump, Clinton Push Same Statements On Obamacare
The presidential candidates Sunday night discussed the Affordable Care Act at the second of three debates between them by sticking with their usual statements. The first audience question at the town hall style debate was about rising health insurance premiums, deductibles and copays as well as increasing prescription drug prices. The questioner asked what the candidates would do to make healthcare more affordable. (Muchmore, 10/9)
Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Costs Under Obamacare Are Not 'Going Up By Numbers That Are Astronomical' As Trump Says
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Affordable Care Act is a disaster, and did so again Sunday, noting that Americans’ monthly insurance premiums are rising by “astronomical” amounts. “Your health insurance, you’re health care, going up by numbers that are astronomical — 68%, 59%, 71%,” he said. This is a major exaggeration. (Levey and Mascaro, 10/9)
The Associated Press: Fact Check: Trump Overstates Cost Of Obama's Health Plan
Trump vastly exaggerates the cost of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The cost of the coverage expansion in Obama's health care law is nowhere near what the government spends on Medicare and Medicaid, for example. (10/9)
The Associated Press: Fact Check: Trump Wrong On Clinton And Health Care
It's Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — not Clinton — who supports a Canada-style government-run health care system. While Clinton's health care proposals would expand the government's role in the health care system, she's not talking about dismantling the current system, which is a hybrid of employer-sponsored coverage, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and individually purchased insurance. (10/9)
The Associated Press: Fact Check: Clinton Correct On Repeal Of Health Care
Congressional Republicans have promised their replacement plan for Obama's health care law would provide coverage for the uninsured, but they have not provided enough detail to allow a rigorous comparison. A complete repeal of the health care law would wipe the slate clean, and lawmakers would have to start over. (10/9)
Los Angeles Times: No, Bill Clinton Didn't 'Torch' Obamacare. Here's What He Was Really Talking About
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed over the past week that Bill Clinton “torched” the Affordable Care Act when the former president brought up the health law during a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Michigan on Monday. Trump was asked about his comments again again during Sunday’s debate. His claims are, at best, misleading. The former president did note that some people are still struggling to afford healthcare, despite the 2010 law, often called Obamacare. (Levey, 10/10)
The allegations centered around the rebates the EpiPen-maker offered the government. The makers of generic drugs pay rebates of 13 percent, but manufacturers of brand-name drugs must offer discounts of about 23 percent.
The New York Times: Mylan To Settle EpiPen Overpricing Case For $465 Million
Mylan, the maker of the allergy treatment EpiPen, said Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the Justice Department and other government agencies over questions on whether the company had overcharged Medicaid for the treatment by improperly classifying it as a generic drug. The federal government said this week that Mylan had been told multiple times that it was wrongly classifying the EpiPen, which led the Medicaid and Medicare programs to overpay for the product. (Thomas, 10/7)
Stat: Mylan To Pay $465 Million To Settle Claims Of Shortchanging Medicaid
Mylan reached a $465 million settlement on Friday with the US Department of Justice and other government agencies over accusations that it shortchanged Medicaid. The move comes after a month of controversy over charges that Mylan improperly classified its EpiPen allergy device in reports to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Under this program, companies must accurately report — and pay — a rebate on drugs paid for by the agency. (Silverman, 10/7)
NPR: EpiPen-Maker Mylan Settles For $465 Million In Medicaid Dispute
Drugmaker Mylan N.V. announced Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and other government agencies to resolve questions over rebates required by the Medicaid program. The deal settles allegations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Mylan had misclassified the EpiPen as a generic drug and had not paid the appropriate rebates that are required by law. (Kodjak, 10/7)
Bloomberg: Mylan Jumps In Early Trading On $465 Million EpiPen Settlement
Mylan NV shares advanced 12 percent in early U.S. trading after the company said it will pay the U.S. government $465 million in a swift settlement over how the drugmaker charged Medicaid for its allergy shot EpiPen. The stock climbed to $40.10 in premarket trading in New York, after closing last week at $35.94, the lowest in more than three years. The accord offers a reprieve to investors concerned that the penalty could have been significantly larger, while resolving part of the controversy over Mylan’s price increases on EpiPen. (Tracer, 10/10)
Modern Healthcare: Mylan To Pay $465 Million Settlement Over EpiPen Medicaid Rebates
Mylan, the embattled maker of the EpiPen, has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $465 million to settle allegations that it overbilled Medicaid for the life-saving allergy medication. The settlement, announced by the British drugmaker on Friday, is yet another mark against the company after significant backlash over EpiPen pricing. Mylan, which was been accused by legislators and regulators of misclassifying the brandname EpiPen as a generic, says the settlement “will resolve questions raised about the classification” of the EpiPen under the program. (Rubenfire, 10/7)
“The clinical benefit … has not been demonstrated," Anthem said.
Stat: Anthem Declines To Cover Sarepta Drug For Duchenne, Citing Doubts Over Data
One of the nation’s largest health insurers has decided not to cover a controversial Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug after raising doubts about clinical trial data that regulators relied on to approve the medicine last month. In a bulletin issued to clients on Friday, Anthem reviewed the results from various studies and concluded that Exondys 51, which is sold by Sarepta Therapeutics, is “not medically necessary” and that “the clinical benefit … has not been demonstrated.” Duchenne is a rare disease that confines boys to wheelchairs and condemns them to an early death. (Silverman, 10/7)
Morning Consult: Anthem Declines To Cover New Drug For Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Anthem said on Friday that it has decided not to cover a new drug aimed at treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy, citing concerns about a lack of data regarding how the treatment would improve health outcomes. The insurer, one of the largest in the country, said it won’t cover Exondys 51, a drug manufactured by Sarepta Therapeutics to treat the genetic disorder, which affects about one out of every 3,600 male infants. The treatment was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month under an accelerated approval pathway, but Sarepta must complete a clinical trial to confirm the drug’s benefits. (McIntire, 10/7)
Boston Globe: Sarepta Stock Hit After Anthem Says It Won’t Cover Duchenne Drug
Anthem Inc. said Friday it would not cover the cost of the first drug approved to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a surprising move by one the nation’s biggest insurers that pushed down the stock of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., the Cambridge company that makes the treatment. The Indianapolis-based insurer, which has about 40 million members, questioned the effectiveness of the new medicine, citing a Food and Drug Administration statement saying that “a clinical benefit has not been established.” The FDA approved the drug, called Exondys 51, last month despite an internal dispute over its benefits. (Weisman, 10/7)
In other pharmaceutica
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