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Federal News About COVID-19

November 24, 2020
Most Favored Nation Rule Poses Patient Access Issues, Faces Legal Challenges

As reported in last week’s BioUtah News and Events, HHS on Nov. 20 released an interim final rule (IFR) implementing the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model, a new payment model through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) that would, starting January 1, base the price Medicare pays for for 50 high-cost Medicare Part […]

November 24, 2020
FDA Posts Serology Templates for Test Developers

The FDA on Nov. 24 posted two templates with recommendations on what to include in EUA requests for serology tests. These templates provide the FDA’s current recommendations on what data and information should be submitted to the FDA in support of an EUA request or Pre-EUA submission for a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test or home specimen […]

October 23, 2020
Sanofi Commits $1M to Support Parkinson’s Disease Genetic Research

Sanofi and the Parkinson’s Foundation announced on Wednesday a new research collaboration to advance the availability of genetic testing and counseling for people with Parkinson’s disease in the U.S. Over the next two years, Sanofi will provide $1 million in research funding to support the PD GENEration Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease initiative. The […]

October 16, 2020
SBA Extends PPP Loan Deferral, New Streamlined Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

On October 7, the SBA released updated FAQs (question #52) to clarify that lenders must recognize the extended deferral period for payments on the principal, interest, and fees on all PPP loans, even if the initial loan terms indicates a six-month deferral (the initial period when the program was first enacted). Under the Paycheck Protection […]

October 9, 2020
Pediatric Rare Disease Voucher Program Extended

Congress recently provided a short-term extension until December 11 of the Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher program. The program was set to expire on September 30, but was given a reprieve in the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 8337) that kept the government funded. Congress will have to act again […]

September 25, 2020
J&J Enters Phase 3 Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine

BioUtah member Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced that they’ve started the global phase 3 trial of Janssen’s single-dose vaccine candidate, following phase 1/2 studies that demonstrated safety and immunogenicity.  “As COVID-19 continues to impact the daily lives of people around the world, our goal remains the same – leveraging the global reach and scientific innovation […]

September 25, 2020
President Trump Signs Executive Order on Healthcare, Pre-existing Conditions

During a campaign event yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Trump signed an executive order on a range of health issues, including protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions, lowering prescription drug costs, increasing consumer choice, and providing greater transparency. The order also directs HHS Secretary Alex Azar to work with Congress to pass legislation to […]

September 18, 2020
Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy

The Administration on Wednesday released a detailed plan for the distribution of free COVID-19 vaccines beginning next year. The plan would prioritze vaccines for healthcare workers, essential employees, and high-risk indiividuals. From there, distribution would be expanded to the broader population. The plan includes two documents: documents: A strategic distribution overview along with an interim […]

July 31, 2020
At White House Roundtable, CSL Behring CEO Paul Perreault Urges Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19

At a July 30 White House Roundtable, plasma industry leader and CSL Behring (CSL) CEO Paul Perreault, urged people who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma to help develop a potential treatment for people with serious complications from COVID-19. Representing the plasma industry, Perreault pointed to the unprecedented CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance – an […]

July 31, 2020
Senate Republicans Release HEALS Act – COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Republican version of a fourth COVID-19 package (or as some say, a second round of a CARES Act stimulus bill). The bill, titled the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act is actually a collection of bills. Highlights include another round of $1200 […]

July 31, 2020
President Trump Signs Drug Pricing Executive Orders, Touts “Most Favored Nation” Pricing

Last Friday, President Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices, including an order that would set up a “most favored nation” (MFN) pricing model for Medicare Part B drugs, effectively imposing foreign price controls on critical medicines for seniors. The goal, Trump said, is to “end global freeloading on the backs of […]

July 24, 2020
Pfizer and BionTech Announce Agreement with U.S. Government for Up to 600 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

On July 22, Pfizer and BioNTech announced the execution of an agreement with the HHS and DOD to meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the COVID-19 […]

July 24, 2020
White House, GOP Deal on $1T COVID-19 Relief Package Takes Shape

As reported by The Hill, “White House and Senate Republicans on Thursday reached a “fundamental agreement” on a coronavirus package…” Among other items, the agreement includes: Another round of $1200 in direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000 Replacing the current $600 in federal unemployment benefits with a 70% match of a worker’s wages […]

July 24, 2020
President Trump to Sign Executive Orders to Lower Drug Prices

While the drug pricing issue has been sidelined amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump is now returning to the issue with several executive orders that he is expected to sign today. According to a report by The Hill, Republican lawmakers have been invited to a presidential event on drug pricing today at 3 p.m. at […]

July 23, 2020
Sens. Warren, Sanders Slam Gilead Deal with Government while New Research Says Americans Don’t Pay Twice for Drugs

This week Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar seeking an explanation for why the deal with the administration to acquire a large supply of remdesivir in their words “forces U.S. purchasers to pay the highest prices in the world for the drug” The letter requests a response […]

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