Merck sues to stop Medicare drug price negotiations; doctors delay lifesaving therapies due to cancer drug shortages; a federal appeals court will hear Affordable Care Act coverage prevention case.
Merck Sues US Government Over Medicare Drug Price Negotiations
On Tuesday, Merck & Co filed a lawsuit against the US government seeking to block a drug price negotiation program included in the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Reuters. The company argued that the program violates the Fifth and First Amendments of the US Constitution and marks the first challenge by a drugmaker to the law. Merck stated it plans to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Cancer Drug Shortages Reach a New Record-High
A severe shortage of effective chemotherapy drugs is ultimately putting at risk the lives of patients with cancer, according to The Washington Post. The shortage, exacerbated by low profit margins on generic drugs and an overreliance on foreign manufacturing, is affecting a wide range of cancer treatments, including pediatric cases. Furthermore, delays in treatment caused by the shortage may have devastating consequences, with studies showing increased sickness or mortality rates for common cancers when treatment is delayed.
Appeals Court to Hear Texas Case Against ACA Provision Mandate
A federal appeals court is considering whether to continue the temporary pause of a Texas district court's ruling that invalidated an Affordable Care Act provision mandating insurers to cover preventive services for free, according to The Hill. The pause allows HHS to continue requiring insurance companies to cover preventive services such as HIV prevention drugs and cancer screenings without cost-sharing. The case was brought forward by conservative Texas employers and individuals, who believe the provision violates their religious beliefs.