A battle between hospitals and pharmaceutical companies is brewing over the 340B program; Uber and other companies relying on independent contractors lead the push to get people to enroll in Obamacare plans; the government intends to crack down harder on fentanyl-related substances.
Hospitals and the trade organization representing pharmaceutical companies are facing off over the 340B program. According to Politico, drug companies want fewer drugs sold through the program, while hospitals want to expand it. The companies allege that the discounts through the program have led to hospitals buying up more doctor’s offices, which increases healthcare costs. Hospitals argue that the program is needed to provide drugs to vulnerable populations. Both sides are spending money to retain lobbying firms to advocate their position on 340B.
The Trump administration may have cut funding to market the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s open enrollment, but Uber and other technology companies in Silicon Valley are filling the void. Uber will hold events for its drivers to offer assistance to sign up for ACA insurance plans, reported The New York Times. The company will partner on enrollment efforts with Stride Health, which is also working with other companies that rely on independent contractors, like Etsy Inc, DoorDash Inc, and Postmates Inc.The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planning to temporarily schedule fentanyl-related substances on an emergency basis, which would make it easier to prosecute traffickers of synthetic opioids. The Hill reported that people trafficking substances like fentanyl will be charged the same as people trafficking fentanyl. A temporary scheduling can last up to 2 years and will go into effect 30 days after the DEA publishes notice.