March 2, 2023
D.C. News | Tea Leaves
  • House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer announced Wednesday that he is launching an investigation into pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and actions that increase health care costs for patients. Comer called for enhanced transparency in the PBM industry in order to better ascertain the impact it has on the pharmaceutical market and health care programs run by the federal government. The chairman requested that the Office of Personnel Management, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Defense Health Agency provide documents and communication to determine how PBMs impact those programs. (Article here)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that $50 million in grants will be made available for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer program, the largest infusion of funding that has ever been designated for the program. The newly announced grant funding for the MRC comes from the American Rescue Plan, the pandemic-era economic stimulus package signed into law by President Biden in 2021. MRC volunteers were mobilized throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ohio lawmakers have recently called for MRC assistance in addressing the toxic train derailment in East Palestine. (Article here)
  • The FDA is launching a search for the newly created deputy commissioner for human foods, promising that person will have “a clear line of authority” over the proposed human foods program. It’s the latest attempt to detail a plan to reorganize its oversight of food products after the agency faced significant scrutiny in recent years, culminating with last year’s baby formula crisis. (Article here)