Apr 4, 2019

Congress moves forward on prescription drug bills

The House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday approved several bills designed to enhance prescription drug competition.

Details: This includes the CREATES Act, which received bipartisan buy-in after relatively minor changes were made to the original version. 

  • That bill would allow generics manufacturers to sue brand-name drugmakers for access to the samples they need for approval, although the new version offers more protections to brands.
  • The committee also passed a bill that makes it illegal for branded companies to pay generic companies to stay off the market.

The big picture: CREATES is expected to save the federal government $3.9 billion over 10 years, a fraction of the $100 billion spent on Medicare's prescription drug benefit alone in 2017. 

  • But Congress has thus far struggled to do much of anything, and the push to reduce drug prices has to start somewhere.

Go deeper: The drug pricing debate is stuck in the past

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Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.