What We're Reading: Executive Order on Drug Pricing; EpiPen Competition; Deadline for GOP Senate Health Bill

Trump Administration Ready to Tackle Drug Prices

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that addresses rising drug prices. According to The Hill, the order is expected to be an interim step and not request any drastic changes. The Trump administration is considering directing agencies to pursue value-based purchasing contracts for drugs. Executive orders aren’t laws, but they are used to direct agencies in how to pursue regulatory actions.

Rival to EpiPen Approved

The FDA has approved an emergency epinephrine syringe that will be a lower-cost rival to EpiPen. The pre-filled epinephrine syringes are for emergency use to treat severe allergic reactions; however, at this time the cost of Symjepi has not been announced, reported Reuters. There are other competitors to the EpiPen available, but for years, Mylan has owned more than 90% of the market. Mylan’s generic of its own injector still costs about $300.

No Consensus on Senate Health Bill Deadline

While there has been talk of voting on a Senate healthcare bill by the end of June, there is no consensus regarding whether or not Republicans will meet that deadline. On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the goal is to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor by the end of June. However, a day later, Politico claimed the Senate is likely to miss that deadline. The Senate has just 2 weeks until the Fourth of July recess, yet there are reports of remaining divisions on how to roll back Medicaid expansion and how much to cut from the program.