Reflex: November 7, 2011

In the WSJ, Scott Gottlieb identifies the cause of the shortages of injectable cancer drugs as a combination of safety issues and Medicare “price controls” on generic Part B drugs.  Kevin’s comment:  I don’t often agree with WSJ op-eds on health issues, but he’s largely right on this one. My one quibble would be that the article seems to blame the President and the FDA, but the real cause he identifies is in Medicare Part B pricing.  But you can’t even blame CMS for that – they are enforcing the law given to them by Congress.

The N.C. General Assembly has achieved a series of accomplishments, writes Jynn Bonner, John Frank and Craig Jarvis. Republicans controlled the House and Senate this year for the first time since 1892 (not a typo), but the Democratic Governor vetoed the Healthcare Protection Act that would exempt the state from Obamacare (pdf legislative scorecard). Don’s comment: This law is mostly for show as a state cannot pick and choose the federal laws it likes, but the show took up most of the health policy energy of the session (no word on what those opposed would do instead). Republicans were unable to override the veto, but a short session on redistricting starting today could provide another opportunity if several Democratic legislators fail to show up. N.C. is behind the curve in setting up exchanges, etc.

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