Capitol Perspectives

The Capitol Perspectives column is written by John McManus, president and founder of The McManus Group, a consulting firm specializing in strategic policy and political counsel and advocacy for healthcare clients with issues before Congress and the administration. Prior to founding his firm, McManus served Chairman Bill Thomas as the staff director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, where he led the policy development, negotiations, and drafting of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. Before working for Chairman Thomas, McManus worked for Eli Lilly & Company as a senior associate and for the Maryland House of Delegates as a research analyst.
  • Hospitals Drive More Costs, Get Less Scrutiny
    Hospitals Drive More Costs, Get Less Scrutiny

    Stepping back from the political hyperbole driving the prescription-drug debate is that American taxpayers, patients, and employers spend far more on hospitals than pharmaceuticals. Yet hospitals receive very little scrutiny of their escalating costs.

  • Republicans … Insert Price Controls In Part D

    No one is arguing that enacting price controls in Medicare Part D means they would be applicable in nongovernment commercial contracts. But requiring rebates for price increases that exceed an arbitrary index obviously is a price control in Medicare.

  • Arbitration For Pharmaceuticals?

    The concept known as “arbitration” to resolve billing disputes between out-of-network providers and insurers on surprise medical bills could spell doom for the pharmaceutical industry if it is cross-walked into the prescription-drug debate.

  • Restructuring Of Medicare Part D Imminent

    New challenges have emerged regarding Medicare Part D which require a fundamental re-examination and modernization of the program.

  • Fiscal And Monetary Policy Puts America At Risk

    A plethora of proposals are currently under consideration to wring resources out of the pharmaceutical industry, but no amount of money extracted from the life sciences sector can right-size the fundamental imbalance between the federal government’s financial obligations and taxpayers resources to finance those promises.

  • Rebate Rule Pends As Congress Begins Moving Rx Bills

    What is the policy problem driving the populist agenda to slash pharmaceutical spending? Answer: Rising list prices and patient out-of-pocket spending.

  • Countering Provider Consolidation

    As Congress debates partisan issues such as “Medicare for All” where private health insurance would be outlawed, troubling trends are emerging on healthcare provider consolidation that are driving up costs.

  • Congress Scrutinizes Rx Pricing As Administration Releases Proposal To Ban Rebates

    Despite mounting evidence that pharma costs have flattened recently, the industry, during recent hearings, took licks from members on both side of the aisle in the divided Congress.

  • New Congress Wrestles With ACA And Budget Challenges: Rich Universities A Funding Source?

    The 116th Congress convened under the shadow of a partial government shutdown with Republicans handing the gavel to newly elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). House Democrats have made it clear that healthcare will be a key priority, second only to investigating the Trump administration.

  • Rx Industry Under Multifront Siege

    The latest regulatory salvo from the Trump administration on Medicare Part D and the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives has the pharmaceutical industry scrambling to fight a multifront war to defend market-based pricing in the United States.

  • Trump Administration Would Import Foreign Price Controls

    Two weeks before the midterm election, the Trump administration announced a sweeping plan to subject physician-administered drugs in Medicare Part B to foreign price controls. The ANPR “demonstration project” would subject half of the country to the mandatory pricing scheme but will ripple through the entire Medicare program.

  • Told You So! Repeal Of Individual Mandate Penalty Has No Impact

    “Despite predictions that our actions would increase rates and destabilize markets, the opposite has happened,” says CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

  • Rollout Begins Of Trump’s Drug Blueprint

    The Trump administration disrupted the typically sleepy August recess with a frenetic release of proposals that implement components of its “Blueprint” on drug pricing. Physician and patient advocates expressed concern that these proposals may result in impaired patient access to needed drug therapy.

  • Democrats And Trump Focus On Pharmaceutical Pricing

    As the midterm elections approach, with the trajectory pointing toward increasing likelihood of the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives and with each Trump tweet on drug pricing, a feeling of foreboding has settled over the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Reviving The Antibiotic Sector

    A few weeks ago, Novartis became the latest Big Pharma company to depart the antibacterial field, joining Allergan and The Medicines Company, both of which — even though they manufacture the leading critical-need products — have soured on the lousy returns related to this therapeutic area.

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