Scott Gottlieb Emerges As Pharmaceutical Industry’s Likely Favorite To Head The FDA

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Meanwhile, in Maryland, health care advocates and officials are pushing for drug affordability legislation.

CQ Roll Call: Drug Companies Throwing Weight Behind Gottlieb To Lead FDA
The pharmaceutical industry is privately urging the Trump administration to tap Scott Gottlieb, a former official at the Food and Drug Administration, to be the agency’s new commissioner, according to several lobbyists and individuals with knowledge of the discussions. Drug companies, which thrive on a high level of regulatory consistency given the long development timelines for their products, are growing concerned that President Donald Trump may choose an outsider with no scientific background who would make drastic changes to the current drug approval system. (Williams, 2/16)

The Baltimore Sun: Health Care Advocates Make Pitch For Bills To Block Drug Price Hikes 
Healthcare advocates who are pushing for bills to combat rising prescription drug prices in Maryland drew sympathy but also skepticism from state lawmakers Wednesday. The General Assembly is considering a pair of bills. One would require drug companies to give notice of and explain significant price hikes. The other would authorize the attorney general to sue makers of generic drugs who engage in price gouging. (Woods, 2/15)

The Associated Press: Md. Health Officials Call For Drug Affordability Legislation
When Bonnita Spikes, of Prince George’s County, learned her Alzheimer’s medication’s price had skyrocketed to $500, she was no longer able to afford the essential medicine. Diagnosed in 2013, Spikes quit her job after she determined her condition had progressed to the point where she was no longer able to fulfill her duties, leaving her without insurance or the ability to pay the soaring drugs’ costs. “I just can’t imagine needing something that important and not being able to get it,” Spikes said. (Schwartz, 2/15)

And in other drug pricing news —

Kaiser Health News: 5 Reasons Why An $89,000 Drug Has Congress Fuming
The latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate over high drug prices is Emflaza, an $89,000-a-year drug that treats Duchenne muscular dystrophy. People who have been watching the drug price issue closely, however, can reasonably ask why there is so much heat at that price tag? Late last year, two drugs went on the market for six-figure prices. Exondys 51 sells for $300,000 a year and Spinraza for a whopping $750,000. (Tribble and Lupkin, 2/16)

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