Health Care Weekly Preview from ML Strategies – June 2018 #3

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This week, we turn our attention to the Senate following House passage of its opioid package known as H.R. 6. The House passed H.R. 6 by an overwhelming vote of 396-14, which could/should set up the Senate for floor consideration in July. The Senate package has been in development for several weeks with separate bills receiving consideration in multiple committees. The bill that is prepared for the Senate floor should also be able to pass the House as well. If the House and Senate need to conference a bill, chances for passage prior to the election drop considerably.

The Senate is taking a closer look at drug prices this week with hearings in the HELP and Finance committees. In Finance, Secretary Azar testifying presents an opportunity for the Administration to push its drug pricing blueprint, although we are patiently waiting for directional suggestions to be turned into concrete actions (e.g., anti-kickback safe harbors). Additionally, this hearing could devolve into questioning the Administration’s response to family separation at the border, which Secretary Azar is reportedly spearheading.

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