May 22, 2024
Providers | Tea Leaves
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago announced Monday that it “is no longer addressing an active cybersecurity matter” and has reactivated patient-facing systems that were taken offline over three and a half months ago. Illinois’ largest pediatric care provider had been contending with the cyberattack from “a known criminal threat actor” since January 31, leading to outages of electronic health records, phone, and email systems that were gradually restored in the following months. The organization said it’s been in contact with law enforcement through the process, though it is still “unable to provide a definitive timeline” of when its investigation of the incident will be complete. (Articles here and here)
  • Congress may shift its focus from Medicare drug price negotiations to reforming the patent system, which allows brand-name drugs to delay competition for extended periods. Pharmaceutical companies have been criticized for tactics like “product hopping,” hindering cheaper generics from entering the market sooner. Despite widespread agreement on the need for policy changes to increase competition and lower prices, a legislative package of patent reforms has stalled in the Senate for 15 months. While bipartisan plans aim to address issues like product hopping and patent thickets, progress remains sluggish, with bills awaiting floor action. Critics raise concerns about proposed bills potentially favoring the pharmaceutical industry, especially given the influence of drugmaker interests on key lawmakers. (Article here)