Week in Washington is brought to you by Michael Cohen, PhD. Tune in each week to read the latest on healthcare policy and get a glimpse of what’s on the horizon.
Week in Washington
- High Cost Drugs – Politico reported that the Biden Administration has determined that it will assert the right that it has the authority to seize certain drug patents. Politico also reported that the Administration is not expected to act against any individual medicines and would seek further comment on its proposal.
- Preventative Service and OTC – The comment period closed on HHS’s questions as if or how preventative services could include over the counter-products like birth control or smoking cessation items. One of the proposals on the table included allowing consumers to access these items without a prescription or cost-sharing. Multiple industry associations (employers and insurers) warned against over-use and potential fraud if the proposal was enacted without proper safeguards.
CMS announced this week that so far nearly 7.3 million Americans have signed up for coverage during the 2024 Open Enrollment period. Overall, enrollment is up over 40% year over year. Several states have already surpassed their last year’s Open Enrollment totals. Open Enrollment closes for most states on December 15th, although some states’ Open Enrollment continues into January.
A quick check-in on Medicaid redetermination. KFF’s tracker now stands at 11.7 million Medicaid enrollees have been disenrolled since the start of redetermination. Overall, about 34% of people with a completed renewal are being terminated.
Axios reported that a number of drug companies are attempting to enter the GLP-1 (weight-loss) drug market. Roche, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly are all working on introducing new drugs to this market. The market is expected to top $100 billion by 2030, even if Medicare does not cover weight-loss drugs.
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