What We’re Reading: Debt Limit Deal Reached; National Patient Safety Board; Hemophilia Therapy Results


Debt limit deal will not effect Medicaid; a national safety board may make health care safer; experimental hemophilia therapy reduces bleeding.

Medicaid Work Requirements Not Attached to Debt Limit Deal

Although Democrats successfully resisted Republican efforts to attach Medicaid work requirements to the debt limit deal, the agreement includes the return of approximately $30 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds, according to Axios. The deal aims to maintain flat non-defense discretionary spending levels for 2024, with a small 1% increase in 2025, potentially impacting funding for agencies like the National Institutes of Health.

Advocates Want to Create a National Patient Safety Board

Patient safety advocates are pushing for the creation of a National Patient Safety Board, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, according to CNN. The board would investigate medical errors, identify problem areas, and recommend preventive measures to improve patient safety. However, concerns have been raised regarding the lack of transparency and accountability in the proposed board, as it would require permission from health care organizations to probe safety events and would not have the power to identify healthcare providers or settings in its reports.

Pfizer’s Hemophilia Therapy Reduced Bleeding Better Than Standard of Care

Pfizer announced positive results from a late-stage study of its experimental hemophilia therapy, marstacimab, according to Reuters. The study showed that marstacimab demonstrated superiority over current standard of care treatments in reducing bleeding rates in patients with severe hemophilia A and moderately severe to severe hemophilia B. Furthermore, the therapy achieved a 92% reduction in bleeding, offering potential benefits to patients who require regular infusion of missing proteins. Pfizer is also conducting further trials of marstacimab in patients with inhibitors, with results expected in late 2024.

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