Industry Briefs December 2016

ACA Repeal in Question as New Administration Emerges

President-elect Donald Trump made clear throughout his campaign that one of his most immediate goals would be the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While many believe he won’t be able to easily repeal the ACA, he can, according to Reuters, without Congressional approval, make massive changes to the rules and regulations to better serve his plans. While the effect the new administration will have on healthcare is very uncertain, it’s indisputable that the ACA has affected every aspect of American healthcare and is in for some changes this term.

Some alterations could include promotion of high-deductible health plans and giving tax breaks to encourage people to buy insurance while removing the mandate to buy insurance. The 20 million people insured under Obamacare won’t be the only ones affected by these changes. The Commonwealth Fund estimates the amount of people who lack health insurance can increase by as many as 25 million—and increase the federal budget by as much as $41 billion. President-elect Trump recently revealed he might keep certain provisions, but it is still unclear as to what will happen when the new administration takes office.

Express Scripts Receives Subpoena

A subpoena was recently filed against Express Scripts by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. The company is being questioned on its association with pharmaceutical companies, charitable organizations, and specialty pharmacies. “Given the ongoing focus on drug pricing, it is no surprise that the pharmaceutical industry, and by extension our industry, will receive inquiries like these,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, noting that all information requests will be made available. The U.S. Attorney’s Officer for the Southern District of New York announced there will be no update or comments shared with the public with regard to the subpoena.

Klick Health Introduces New Channel

industry-briefs-2Klick Health recently introduced a new platform, the “Klick Ideas Exchange Platform” at Singularity University’s renowned Exponential Medicine Conference, at which more than 500 global technology and healthcare executives gathered. The platform is designed to make information presented at conferences more dimensional, according to the company. Users will have access to video interviews with Exponential Medicine faculty, who will address fundamental matters affecting patients and healthcare professionals. Users will also be granted interactive options, allowing participants to comment and share.

Sanofi to Cease Production of Bladder Cancer Treatment

Due to contamination issues in its Toronto facility, Sanofi will discontinue production of TheraCys and ImmuCyst by the middle of next year. The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, used for treatment of bladder cancer, has been halted since 2012 when mold was discovered in a sterile manufacturing area. While Sanofi is confident it can meet the demand for the drug in Canada, France, and the U.K. until 2018, Merck & Co. will have to increase production to avoid shortages in the U.S., as it is the only other provider of the vaccine.

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