Healthcare – Landmark drug pricing legislation is enacted

This is not a repeat of Michael Crichton’s famous novel, or the film that bears his name. A “de-extinction” CRISPR startup hopes to achieve justice for the Tasmanian tiger by bringing it back from the dead. Life, uh, finds a way.

Today in health care, President Biden signed into law the Cut Inflation Act, a measure to reduce the prices of prescription drugs, among many other sweeping provisions.

Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Subscribe here.

Biden signs sweeping health and climate bill

President Biden on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping bill aimed at cutting health care costs and tackling climate change, sealing a legislative victory in more than a year.

The $740 billion bill was significantly reduced from the initial $3.5 trillion package that some were considering last fall, but still represents a clear win for Biden and Democrats in Congress. It includes some of Biden’s key campaign promises and makes the biggest investment in federal climate programs in history.

“With unwavering conviction, commitment and patience, progress is coming,” Biden said in the state dining room as he prepared to sign the legislation. “And when it does, like today, people’s lives improve, the future brightens, and a nation can be transformed.”

Long-sought drug price win for Democrats: The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain drugs, giving Democrats a victory over the pharmaceutical industry, which has long opposed such measures.

It will cap insulin prices in Medicare and penalize drug companies that raise prices above the Medicare drug inflation rate.

Key Senator: After the ceremony, Biden gave the pen he used to sign the bill to Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.).

Learn more here.

Authorities want to offer hearing aids without a prescription

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday finalized a rule allowing the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, a move that would help nearly 30 million people.

The Biden administration touted the announcement as helping to make hearing aids more affordable.

Chronology: Over-the-counter hearing aids could be available as early as mid-October in retail stores and pharmacies, the administration said.

“As of mid-October, Americans will be able to purchase more affordable hearing aids over the counter at pharmacies and stores across the country,” President Biden said in a statement.

  • The FDA noted that Congress passed over-the-counter hearing aid legislation in 2017, but it hasn’t been fully implemented so far.
  • The rule allows people with mild to moderate hearing loss to buy an over-the-counter hearing aid “without the need for a medical exam, prescription or fitting by an audiologist,” the law said. FDA.

Bipartisan support: “Five years after our bipartisan Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Act took effect, consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss will finally have access to affordable over-the-counter hearing aids,” said Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Elizabeth. Warren (D-Mass.) said in a joint statement.

Learn more here.


Few Americans who said they took vacations in the past three months took extra steps to avoid COVID-19 infection before their trip, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

The survey found that exactly half of respondents said they had taken a vacation or trip in the past three months.

  • Of those respondents, 24% said they wore a mask indoors more frequently before travel. Twenty-seven percent said they limit indoor dining and other events, while 22% said they limit the number of people outside their household before trips.
  • Almost half of respondents – 45% – said they washed their hands more frequently before their holidays, and about a quarter – 26% – said they had taken a COVID-19 test at home. Around 17% said they work from home more often.

Most respondents said that taking a vacation does not pose a major risk to their health or well-being. Only 11% said it posed a significant risk, while more than half said it posed little or no risk.

Air travel has surged in recent months to the highest level seen since the start of the pandemic. More than 2 million passengers pass through airports nationwide every day, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Reported COVID-19 cases have declined in recent days after peaking at around 130,000 daily cases in mid-July, although the true number is likely higher due to unreported positive home test results. to health authorities.

Learn more here.


A medical journal has published evidence of the first suspected case of monkeypox virus transmission from humans to animals.

A dog living with two men in France who were infected with the virus began showing symptoms 12 days later, according to The Lancet. The 4-year-old male Italian Greyhound, who had no previous medical conditions, tested positive after showing symptoms including sores and pustules on his abdomen.

Through DNA testing, the researchers determined that the viruses infecting the two men and the dog were both monkeypox.

Since becoming symptomatic, the two men had kept their dog away from other people and other pets but had slept with the animal in their bed.

“Our findings should spark a debate about the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals,” the report said.

What health officials said: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of possible human-to-animal transmission in their guidelines on monkeypox.

“Infected animals can transmit Monkeypox virus to humans, and it is possible that infected people can transmit Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact,” the guide says.

Learn more here.

The first lady tests positive for COVID-19

First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 while vacationing with President Biden and other family members in South Carolina, the White House announced Tuesday.

  • “After testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday during her regular testing cadence, the First Lady began developing cold-like symptoms late in the evening. She again tested negative on a rapid antigen test, but a PCR test came back positive,” Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s communications director, said in a statement.

Another BA.5 breakthrough: The first lady is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. She has mild symptoms, the White House said, and will start taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that has been shown to prevent severe cases of COVID-19.

  • “She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will return home after receiving two consecutive negative COVID tests,” Alexander said in a statement.

The president tested negative on Tuesday after taking a rapid test, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted.

“As per CDC guidelines as he is a close contact of the First Lady, he will mask up for 10 days indoors and near others. We will also increase the cadence of the president’s tests and communicate these results, ”tweeted Jean-Pierre.

Learn more here.


  • ‘A Hunger Games Contest’: How unforced errors hampered America’s response to monkeypox (Vanity Fair)
  • Misinformation about monkeypox is spreading faster than the virus, experts say (NBC News)
  • New ‘candy’ e-cigs catch fire after US regulators scrap Juul flavors (Reuters)
  • Pregnancy tests are routine before many surgeries. But Dobbs upped the ante with a positive result (Stat)


  • WVa Governor: Voters Shouldn’t Decide Abortion Access (Associated Press)
  • Buy a rural hospital for $100? Investors scoop up troubled institutions for pennies (NPR)
  • Even in New England’s ‘spot on’ Lyme region, the disease often goes unnoticed (New Hampshire Public Radio)


It’s time for a discussion on life after being born in America

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.