What We're Reading: Hurdles Facing US Drug Importation; FDA Targeting Addictive e-Cigs Among Teens; Federal Spending Package Inclusions

December 19, 2019
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

The federal goverment proposed to allow states to import drugs from Canada, but many obstacles lie before its passing; FDA targeting e-cigs that have been linked to teen addiction with no attributable benefit among smoking cessation; inclusions and exclusions in the federal spending package set to be passed by Congress this week

Hurdles Facing Trump’s Plan to Import Cheaper Drugs

On Wednesday, the federal government proposed allowing states to import drugs from Canada, but as Kaiser Health News reports, US consumers looking for relief from the high cost of prescriptions should not expect the strategy to provide help before 2021 as significant obstacles remain. Hurdles referenced in the article include Canada’s willingness to import drugs, interventions by large US pharmaceutical companies, legality, and the ability of states to meet HHS safety requirements.

FDA Targeting E-Cigs Linked to Teen Addiction

As part of the applications that e-cig manufacturers must send to the FDA to prove the net benefit of their products to public health, 2 questions will be asked: are e-cigarettes effective in getting smokers to quit? And, if so, does that benefit outweigh the health damage to new e-cigarette users, including teenagers, who never smoked in the first place? Reuters reports that based on the latest available data on trends in cigarette and e-cigarette use from the CDC, e-cigarettes have shown little impact in reducing cigarette smoking, while growth in vaping has been steadily rising since 2015 amongst teenagers.

Surprises in the Federal Spending Package

This week, Congress plans to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package with notable exclusions such as legislation to address surprise billing or prescription drug prices, as well as policy changes and funding increases, according to NPR. Highlights of the package include a repeal of health taxes designed to pay for ACA, raising the age to buy tobacco products (e-cig included) to 21, a foundation focusing to end the HIV epidemic, promoting the development of generic drugs, and many other topics.