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.
  • Part D Is Due For A Tune-Up
    Part D Is Due For A Tune-Up

    Lost in the hubbub over drug pricing has been the flat and declining spending recently in Part D. The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) June 2017 Baseline projections show that Part D spending stabilized at $95 billion annually for 2016 and 2017 and will decline to $92 billion in 2018.

  • 340B Reform Gets A Kick Start

    This month, our Washington D.C. insider discusses the 340B drug discount program and the 340B Hospital Outpatient proposed rule. “Notwithstanding the hoopla over the CMS proposal, a proposed rule does not necessarily mean it will become finalized policy.”

  • Path Forward On Obamacare Replacement?

    After the House of Representatives passed The American Health Care Act — the bill that would replace Obamacare — by a razor-thin margin, consideration moved to the Senate, where Republicans have only two votes to spare to secure passage.

  • Drug Costs Moderating, But Growing Copays Fuel Ire

    At a Stanford University conference last week, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said President Trump keeps asking him what he is doing to address the high cost of pharmaceuticals.

  • Provider Consolidation Raising Costs And Undermining Competition

    As Republicans attempt to recover from their face-plant on repealing and replacing Obamacare, policymakers are grappling with how to address the growing problem of healthcare provider consolidation, which appears to be raising costs and undermining competition.

  • Repeal & Replace Confronts Trump’s Base

    To understand the political peril Republicans confront in their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, it is worth noting that many of the areas that gained the most coverage from Obamacare are the working-class districts carried by President Trump with the largest margins.

  • Pharmaceuticals Escape The Knife As GOP Mulls Medicaid Reform

    After bracing for the worst, pharmaceutical executives emerged from a White House meeting with newly installed President Donald J. Trump relatively unscathed. But they soon concluded that his ever-roving spotlight would be back on them in a matter of time.

  • Trump Targets The Pharmaceutical Industry

    Our new President seemed to criticize recent inversions, but more importantly vowed to go after the industry: “Our drug industry has been disastrous.

  • Risks And Rewards Of Repeal And Replace

    The Republican sweep in the 2016 elections hands the enormous power of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to the Trump administration. What to do with this power?

  • Washington Outlook For 2017: Trump Takes The Helm

    The stunning Trump victory and the Republican hold in the Senate, giving the GOP full control over the executive and legislative branches, provides some breathing space for a pharmaceutical industry that increasingly felt under siege.

  • Leaked Emails, Physician Reg Signal Risks For Rx Industry

    As the most bizarre and unpredictable election season draws to a close, scrutiny is turning to wikileaked emails among senior officials in the Clinton campaign licking their chops to take on the pharmaceutical industry, and healthcare policymaking by the executive branch.

  • Congress’ Abdication Of Authority Of Medicare To The Executive

    Six years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), policymakers are just beginning to appreciate a little-known provision that essentially outsources Congress’ authority over Medicare to the executive branch.

  • Rx Industry Vulnerable On Generic Delay In Fall

    There is growing chatter among congressional aides that the pharma industry should ante up some resources to help address some yet-unresolved healthcare issues.

  • If Government Fails, More Government!

    In June, the Obama administration’s Office of the Actuary issued the Medicare Trustees report, which determined “The Hospital Trust Fund is not adequately financed over the next 10 years.” The trust fund will be depleted by 2028, two years earlier than last year’s estimate.

  • Administration’s Response To Antibiotic Challenge Falls Far Short

    Even if we eliminated all use of antibiotics in animals and all unnecessary use in humans, we still are bound by a pathetic pipeline to combat what we’re facing now.

More From Capitol Perspectives


  • Daniel Skovronsky – From Grad Student, To CEO, To Big Pharma

    Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., is the SVP of clinical and product development at Eli Lilly and Company. But prior to taking on this role, he held the title of CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals — a company he founded in Philadelphia while still a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. This article explores some of the differences between this executives past and present roles, and is a good prequel to the upcoming article that explores how he went about building a $300 million company.

  • Does The Biopharmaceutical Industry Need To Broaden Its Horizons?

    When I interviewed Axovant Sciences CEO David Hung, one of the questions posed was sparked by our discussion of his experience at Pro-Duct Health and his invention of a microcatheter for early detection of ductal breast cancer in women. As he explained his medical device invention, Hung commented, “I don’t want to be just medicines, or just devices, or anything like that.”

  • What Might Be The Best Predictor Of Future Performance At Axovant Sciences?

    Chief Editor Rob Wright recently conducted an in-person interview with David Hung, formerly of Medivation and current  CEO of Axovant Sciences. Though many may credit the FDA’s approval of Medivation’s Xtandi (enzalutamide) as being the primary driver behind Hung’s rise, Wright argues that there are a number of other predictors that should be evaluated when anticipating future success.

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    Why Every Company Needs A Bio Strategy

    Today we stand on the precipice overlooking a new frontier — the century of biology, and businesses of all kinds need to be prepared to not only embrace what is coming, but have a strategy for how to leverage biology for the betterment of their businesses and the good of the planet.

  • What Is BIO Hoping To See Among Session Submissions For 2018?
    What Is BIO Hoping To See Among Session Submissions For 2018?

    Life Science Leader Chief Editor Rob Wright is cochairing the 2018 BIO educational program planning committee. In this blog he talks about why this was the earliest the planning committee has ever met and what you can do to submit interesting and novel session proposals that will get the attention of the committee.

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