Government shutdown? Congress passed a two-week continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through Dec. 21 but has yet to reach an agreement to complete their work on funding the remaining funding bills, including the FDA. President Trump is insisting on $5 billion for a border wall along the Mexican border but it is uncertain whether that proposal would have the votes in both chambers. Stay tuned.
Medicaid drug rebate bill approved by House. The House passed a package of bills concerning the Medicaid program including H.R. 7217 that would provide new penalties for drug makers who misclassify brand name drugs for generics to avoid paying higher rebates in the Medicaid program. This legislation is in response to the revelations that Mylan misclassified EpiPen as generic and resulted in a $465 million settlement with the government. Sens. Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, have introduced the companion legislation in the Senate and is expected to pass before the end of the session. The legislation passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support and addressing drug pricing will be a top priority in the new Congress in January.