Tag Archives: Drug Safety

Senate Approves Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

The Senate has overwhelmingly approved S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which includes a number of provisions to prevent drug abuse, treat addiction, and reduce overdose deaths. Major provisions include: additional prevention and education efforts to prevent opioid and heroin abuse; expanded law enforcement and first responder access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone; … Continue Reading

Recent Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including the following: A Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing titled “Sudden Price Spikes in Off-Patent Drugs: Perspectives from the Front Lines.”  A Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on “Opioid Abuse in America: Facing the Epidemic and Examining Solutions.” A … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Health Policy Bills Advance

On September 8, 2015, the House of Representatives approved the following bipartisan bills by voice vote:  H.R. 1344, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015 – to reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children. H.R. 1725, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Expanded State Reporting on Medicaid Prescription Drug Fraud Controls

In light of continuing indicators of potential prescription-medication fraud and abuse in state Medicaid programs, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reviewed federal and state pharmacy-related policies and processes to prevent and detect such abuses. The GAO identified two potential controls that are not included in CMS’s current reporting requirements: (1) lock-in programs for noncontrolled … Continue Reading

OIG Assesses FDA Progress on Oversight/Inspections of Generic Drug Manufacturers

In a recent report, the HHS OIG concludes that FDA has made progress in improving oversight of generic drug manufacturers, including greater parity in inspections of foreign and domestic generic drug manufacturers. A summary of the report, FDA Has Made Progress on Oversight and Inspections of Manufacturers of Generic Drugs, is available on our Life Sciences … Continue Reading

House Approves “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act”

On April 21, 2015, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation would clarify the Controlled Substances Act to establish consistent enforcement standards intended to protect against diversion while promoting patient access to medically-necessary controlled substances. … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Expanded HHS Efforts to Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Community Settings

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining the extent to which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed for older adults with dementia in nursing homes and other settings. The GAO found that, according to Medicare Part D data, about one-third of older adults with dementia who spent more than 100 days in a nursing … Continue Reading

Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Bipartisan Public Health Bills

On February 11, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the following bipartisan public health bills: H.R. 471, Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act (to improve enforcement efforts regarding prescription drug diversion and abuse);  H.R. 639, Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act, as amended (to amend the Controlled Substances Act to … Continue Reading

OIG Reviews Oversight of Compounded Pharmaceuticals Used in Hospitals

The OIG has issued another report examining the safety of compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) used in hospitals, in response to a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated injections. This report, "Medicare’s Oversight of Compounded Pharmaceuticals Used in Hospitals," assesses the extent to which Medicare’s oversight of hospitals addresses 55 practices for CSP oversight in acute-care hospitals recommended … Continue Reading

Congressional Panels Take Steps to Speed Patient Access to Medical Innovation

On January 27, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released its “21st Century Cures Act” discussion draft, the product of a year-long, bipartisan effort by the Committee to accelerate the pace of medical cures in the United States. The nearly 400-page bill addresses a wide range of topics, including, among many other things: the … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

On January 27, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on bipartisan public health legislation, including: Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act (to improve enforcement efforts regarding prescription drug diversion and abuse); Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act (to amend the Controlled Substances Act to improve … Continue Reading

Electronic Distribution of Prescribing Information for Prescription Drugs & Biologicals

The FDA published a proposed rule on December 18, 2014 that would require electronic distribution of the prescribing information intended for health care professionals, which is currently distributed in paper form on or within the prescription drug or biological product packaging. FDA also is proposing that prescribing information intended for health care professionals will no longer … Continue Reading

NIH Releases Proposed Rule on FDAAA Requirements for ClinicalTrials.Gov Registration and Results Submission

NIH has just released a proposed rule that would clarify and expand requirements for the submission of clinical trial registration and results information, including adverse event information, to the ClinicalTrials.gov database in conformance with the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). The rule would implement the statutory requirement for the submission of … Continue Reading

CMS Call: National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (Dec. 9).

On December 9, 2014, CMS is hosting a call to provide an update on the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. The partnership focuses on continuing to reduce the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications and other potentially-harmful medications in nursing homes and eventually other care settings.… Continue Reading

FDA Revises Guidance Defining Delays, Denials, Limits and Refusals of a Drug Inspection

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a notice announcing the Agency's revised guidance for industry defining the types of action, inaction, and circumstances that FDA considers to constitute delaying, denying, or limiting inspection, or refusing to permit entry or inspection for the purposes of making a drug adulterated. The revised guidance clarifies FDA's expectations regarding the types of action, inaction, and circumstances that make a drug adulterated under FDASIA and the FD&C Act. FDA also provides examples that constitute reasonable explanations for actions, inactions, or circumstances that could otherwise be considered delaying, denying or limiting inspection, or refusing to permit entry or inspection.… Continue Reading

DEA Issues Final Rule on Safe, Secure Disposal of Controlled Substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has published a final rule to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which was intended to mitigate prescription drug abuse by providing safe and secure mechanisms for “ultimate users” to dispose of unused or unwanted pharmaceutical controlled substances. The regulations allow authorized manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Communicating New Risk Information about an Approved Drug Product – Comment Opportunity

This post was written by Jillian W. Riley. On June 6, 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance addressing the distribution of new risk information to health care providers (HCPs) and health care entities (HCEs). The draft guidance defines “new risk information” as “information that becomes available after a drug … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Medicare Part B Payments for Compounded Drugs

The HHS OIG has examined Medicare Part B payments for compounded drugs and Medicare Administrative Contractors’ (MAC) procedures for reviewing and processing claims for compounded drugs, in light of safety concerns involving a 2012 meningitis outbreak and increased scrutiny of compounded drugs. According to the OIG, neither CMS nor MACs tracked the number of Part B … Continue Reading

CMS Call: National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (May 20)

On May 20, 2014, CMS is hosting another call to discuss the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which includes as a goal reducing the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. This call will focus on efforts to monitor enforcement rates and track surveyor training completion; the role that activity … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

 A number of Congressional committees have held hearings recently to address various health policy issues, including the following: The House Energy and Commerce Committee conducted hearings on Medicare Part D drug policy, the role CMS contractors play in management of the Medicare program, and the public health threat of counterfeit drugs; The House Education and the … Continue Reading

FDA to Overhaul an OTC System That “Isn’t Working”

This post was also written by Jillian W. Riley. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced that it will hold a public hearing March 25 and 26, 2014 to obtain input on the Agency’s current process for reviewing over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. This is a significant advancement in FDA’s long-standing plan to overhaul the … Continue Reading

CMS Call on Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (Feb. 26)

On February 26, 2014, CMS is hosting a call to discuss the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which includes as a goal reducing the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. This call will focus on the role of surveyors in the implementation of the partnership, the importance of leadership, … Continue Reading
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