Before the re-design of the blog, off to the right I had a lengthy list of proposed legislation in the 111th Congress with links to the actual legislation. This includes laws aimed at health care access, at the FDA itself, and the pharmaceutical and medical products industry. It was lengthy.
With the new design, I had tabs inserted that take you to different pages of the blog. Visitors at the blog will see one for “Legislative Activity“. To the right of that, you will find a box that contains tracking tools. You can choose one to search other legislation and to set up alerts to notify you when particular legislation sees some action.
In the meantime, here is a peek at some of what is being proposed so far by the 112th Congress. One item I would point out is the perennial proposal to remove the tax deduction for direct-to-consumer advertising by medical product manufacturers. This has been proposed before and not really moved. But it is worth watching this time around. Inside the Beltway here, and outside too I bet, there is an absolute fever in favor of budget cutting and closing loopholes. This week saw a rather extraordinary action in the House of Representatives where Democrats and members of the Tea Party Caucus joined together to cut funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engine project and is demonstrative of the fact that when it comes to cost measures there is a new environment up here on the Hill and one could see many cuts and loophole closings move that never had a chance before.
- H.R. 2 – Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act – a bill introduced by Rep. Eric Cantor, the majority leader, to repeal the law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010;
- H.R. 5 – Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011 – This proposal from Rep. John Gingrey (R-GA) for tort reform would sets new limits for lawsuits arising from health care liability claims regarding health care goods or services or any medical product affecting interstate commerce;
- H.R. 147 – Prescription Drug Affordability Act – Introduced by Ron Paul, this bill would allow for the importation of prescription drugs and the sale of such drugs through Internet sites;
- H.R.722 – Deny Tax Deduction for DTC Advertisements of Prescription Drugs – Introduced by NY Dem Jerrold Nadler, this bill would eliminate any tax deduction for DTC. Language of the bill not yet available as of this writing.
- S.27 – Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act – The stated purpose of this bill introduced by Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) is to enhance competition in the pharmaceutical market by stopping anticompetitive agreements between brand name and generic drug manufacturers;
- S.44 – Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2011 – Another carryover, this one introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to Medicare part D;
- S.31 - Drug and Health Improvement Act of 2011 – From Senator Al Franken (D-MN) this bill would amend title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) with respect to prescription drug plans to repeal the prohibition against: (1) interference by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and prescription drug plan sponsors, and (2) requiring a particular formulary or instituting a price structure for the reimbursement of covered part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program) drugs.
Right now, the legislation is broken out by the House and Senate, but in the future, I will be breaking down proposed legislation by category – pharma, FDA or health care. I will endeavor to update this tab on a monthly basis. If any proposed legislation has been missed please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Happy tracking everyone!