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Former CMS Official Finds Common Ground With Trump: Fighting High Drug Prices

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“I’ll help him any way I can,” says former acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt. However, Republicans in Wisconsin aren’t so eager to jump behind the president’s plan.

Politico Pro: Slavitt Supports Trump’s Attack On Drug Prices 
In an exclusive interview with POLITICO, Slavitt grew animated describing how drug companies have “milked” the government and other customers by continually raising prices. “This is not the way you treat a customer,” Slavitt said. Trump has repeatedly called for Medicare to negotiate drug prices, declaring earlier this month that pharma is “getting away with murder.” Slavitt laid out several challenges and opportunities facing Trump’s pledge to lower drug prices. (Diamond, 1/23)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Will GOP Follow Trump On Drug Haggling?
President Donald Trump is proposing new directions for his party on health care, but Wisconsin Republicans aren’t racing to back them all. For years, GOP members of Congress have balked at Democratic proposals to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over which drugs for seniors will be covered and how much they will cost. But with Trump now floating the same solution to the problem of paying for the drugs, Republicans like U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are remaining cautious and waiting for more details. (Stein, 1/21)

In other pharmaceutical news —

Stat: Forget About Fake News, The FDA Found Fake Quality Control
There is fake news, and then there is fake quality control. In the latest startling example of how some foreign companies run their operations, a Chinese drug maker was cited for failing to have a quality control unit and faking quality control documents, according to a warning letter issued by the US Food and Drug Administration. (Silverman, 1/20)

The Wall Street Journal: Merck Settles With Bristol-Meyers, Ono Over Cancer-Drug Patent
Merck & Co. will pay $625 million plus royalties on Keytruda sales to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Ono Pharmaceutical Co. to settle a suit alleging the cancer drug violates their patent for a method of harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer. (Steele, 1/20)

Orlando Sentinel: Noble Introduces Smart Injection Pad 
Noble, the Orlando-based maker of training products for pharmaceutical devices, is introducing a new Smart Injection Pad to help patients better understand how to use auto injectors. The pad, used with a needle-less auto-injector, gives audible error cues to users. It also helps companies monitor patient compliance and learn if patients need extra training. (Miller, 1/20)

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