POLICY BRIEFINGS


House Oversight to Subpoena AbbVie


House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) issued a memo to panel members last week stating her intent to subpoena AbbVie related to an investigation of the company’s drug pricing practices. Maloney cited the company’s refusal to provide requested information on its anti-inflammatory Humira and cancer drug Imbruvica. A spokesperson for AbbVie stated that the company has cooperated with the Committee since first receiving the request for documents in January 2019. The subpoena is a part of the panel’s investigation into the drug pricing practices of 12 companies that sell high-cost medications.


Oversight Democrats Probe Ventilator Contracts


The House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy is opening a investigation into federal contracts negotiated by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. According to Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), the investigation is a part of his panel’s effort to gather more information about pandemic-related agreements for ventilators made by the Trump administration with Philips Respironics . The White House abruptly canceled much of the $646 million ventilator contract last week and will instead require the company to supply only 12,300 ventilators. An earlier report by the committee found that the agreement with Philips Respironics provided a much higher payment than other contracts.


CDC Tells States to Prepare for Vaccine This Fall


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield sent a letter to governors telling states to prepare for coronavirus vaccine distribution as early as November 1. The letter, dated August 27, states that the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is “rapidly making preparations to implement largescale distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in the fall of 2020.” McKesson Corp. has been contracted to support vaccine distribution to state and local health departments. While three vaccine candidates have recently entered the last stage of clinical trials, definitive results on the vaccines are not expected until the end of the year.


FDA Personnel Update


John Wagner, Associate Commissioner for External Affairs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will assume a new role in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Emily Miller, the FDA’s top spokesperson, was removed from the agency’s communication office several days prior Wagner’s announcement. Miller will remain at the FDA in an advisory role. The FDA’s communication efforts have been in the spotlight since the issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 and Commissioner Stephen Hahn’s public citation of misleading data in support of the treatment.


Hart Health Strategies COVID-19 Resources


Hart Health Strategies Inc. continues to update the following resources related to the coronavirus pandemic. Please remember to clear your cache to ensure you download the most recent documents.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing “Vaccines: Saving Lives, Ensuring Confidence, and Protecting Public Health;” 9:30 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; September 9

House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of 38 bills; 11:00 a.m., Cisco Webex; September 9

House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology hearing “The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on University Research;” 11:30 a.m., Videoconference; September 9

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing to examine S. 785, to improve mental health care provided by the

Department of Veterans Affairs; 3:30 p.m., 106 Dirksen Bldg.; September 9 House Veterans Affairs Committee legislative hearing; 10:05 a.m., 210 House Visitors Center; September 10

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing “COVID-19: An Update on the Federal Response;” 10:00 a.m., G50 Dirksen Bldg.; September 23

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing “Examining Threats to American Intellectual Property: Cyber-attacks and Counterfeits During the COVID-19 Pandemic;” 2:30 p.m., 226 Dirksen Bldg.; September 23

Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee hearing “Supply Chain Integrity;” 9:15 a.m., G50 Dirksen Bldg.; October 1


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.8098 — To address hospital consolidation and promote hospital price transparency, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Banks, Jim [R-IN-3]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Judiciary; Energy and Commerce

H.R.8105 — To improve the ability of veterans with medical training to assist the United States in response to national emergencies, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Lamb, Conor [D-PA-17]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.8107 — To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report on efforts by Department of Veterans Affairs to implement safety planning in emergency departments, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Levin, Andy [D-MI-9]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.8108 — To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of serious mental illnesses; Sponsor: Rep. Malinowski, Tom [D-NJ-7]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs; Energy and Commerce; Armed Services

H.R.8114 — To provide nursing homes with resources for responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency to protect the health and safety of residents and workers, to reauthorize funding for programs under the Elder Justice Act of 2009, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Judiciary; Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor



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