Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, November 20

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster

Generic drug pricing has lawmakers' attention, and now the Congressional Research Service is asking if Medicaid's rebate system encourages drugmakers to seek out high prices when drugs launch. BioWorld reports that the theory is that the higher prices could be designed to offset any discounts the government program receives.

The FDA's push to understand how DTC ads affect consumers has expanded to include another study. Regulatory Focus notes that this is the third DTC perception assessment the agency has announced in three weeks. This study's goal is to find what amounts to a baseline data perception set that can be applied across its various studies to better determine cause and effect.

The National Institutes of Health is proposing greater clinical trial transparency. Reuters reports that the proposal would apply to the website, which the NIH runs, and would include changes, such as requiring that summary results be part of any posting attached to tests with human subjects. NIH also wants more data, such as study targets, to be published.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has banned contributions from companies or individuals “that are the subject of an ongoing investigation or one that has been resolved in the prior three months,” the New York Times reports. The ban includes refusing contributions from lobbyists and attorneys who represent such companies. The new rule comes after reports indicate a possible conflict of interest, including a settlement with Pfizer that the Times says was “for far less than other states of a similar size had received, after taking tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Pfizer and the law firm representing the company.” The NYT also notes that Attorneys Generals from several states are modifying rules of conduct, including a revolving-door ban, such as the one proposed by Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson. In this case the ban would bar former AGs from being able to lobby current AGs until at least a year after leaving the job.

Niall Brennan has been named the first chief data officer for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. Brennan, who has been working as the acting director of the agency's Offices of Enterprise Management has not just a new-to-agency title, but will be heading up a new CMS venture: The Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics. CMS said the goal is to help the agency with data collection and dissemination so as to “guide decision-making and develop frameworks promoting appropriate external access to and use of data to drive higher quality, patient-centered care at a lower cost.” The launch also adds a few new abbreviations to the Beltway's alphabet soup: Brennan's abbreviated title is CDO, and his new division is OEDA.


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