Good morning ... If you didn't see it over the weekend, we did an Axios Deep Dive on drug prices. I'd love to know what Vitals readers, who are pretty in tune with these issues, thought about it. Send your reviews of this — or anything else we're doing right or wrong — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
My colleague Caitlin Owens has a really interesting look this morning at the new hotness in the states: Medicaid buy-ins.
The big picture: This isn’t a totally new idea, but it’s gaining more serious traction on the heels of Democrats’ state-level gains in the midterm elections.
Between the lines: States will have to figure out how to structure provider rates so doctors and hospitals will participate in the program, while still keeping costs down for enrollees.
Where it stands: About a dozen states have expressed some level of interest in a Medicaid buy-in. Experts say New Mexico is the furthest along.
Sen. Chuck Grassley will chair the Finance Committee next Congress, meaning that the position being vacated by pharma ally Sen. Orrin Hatch will be filled with someone much less defensive of the industry.
What we're hearing:
Yes, but: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will still control what gets a vote on the floor.
What we're watching: Grassley has supported mandatory price disclosures in direct-to-consumer ads and legal drug importation from Canada.
The big picture: “I would expect Sen. Grassley to take a more activist approach when it comes to drug pricing, which might be more in line with the president’s position on this," said Chris Campbell, a former Hatch aide who now is a chief strategist with Duff & Phelps.
Boston Scientific plans to lay off employees and restructure other parts of its business in an effort to save at least $100 million per year by 2022, the medical device maker said in a regulatory filing last week.
What they're saying: A Boston Scientific spokesperson would not say how many people would lose their jobs and repeated from the filing that the company's employee count would “remain relatively unchanged.”
By the numbers: Boston Scientific had an 18% profit margin on $2.4 billion of revenue in the third quarter.