Good morning … and happy Friday. Vitals will be off Monday for Memorial Day. See you back here on Tuesday. Enjoy your long weekend.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images
The Food and Drug Administration will soon need to start implementing “right to try” legislation, but that task may not be as easy — or as effective — as some supporters hope.
The details: Both the House and Senate have passed the same “right to try” bill, expanding terminally ill patients’ access to unapproved medicines, and President Trump seems eager to sign it.
What they’re saying: The FDA already has an existing process for patients to access drugs that are still undergoing clinical trials; the new process will run parallel to that existing one.
Yes, but: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb endorsed the bill and said the FDA would be able to implement it. And his public-health track record so far is pretty strong. And if the worst thing that happens is that drug companies aren’t eager to participate in this process, that doesn’t necessarily make anyone’s life worse.
The tension between Athenahealth and Elliott Management has gotten a lot thicker, my colleague Bob Herman reports. Things changed after Elliott — Paul Singer’s hedge fund — made a $6.5 billion hostile takeover offer for the health care IT vendor earlier this month.
The bottom line: This is turning into a thorny fight for a company whose billing and records software is used by more than 110,000 physicians and clinicians, and it may not end until Athenahealth goes private or is auctioned off.
LePage gonna LePage. Photo: John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
A judge in Maine does not necessarily seem sold on Gov. Paul LePage's justification for not moving ahead to expand Medicaid, even after Maine voters approved the expansion via a ballot initiative last year.
Why it matters: LePage was the first Republican governor to see his constituents vote to expand Medicaid over his fierce objections. He will not be the last. The expansion will be on the ballot this fall in Idaho, and advocates are looking for other targets, as well.
"Micro-hospitals" are rapidly gaining popularity even as the industry's rash of consolidation presses on, according to Globe St.
Key quote: "In addition to hospital downsizing, a shift in senior living toward smaller communities is taking place, and, due to consumer demand and rampant retirement insecurity, there’s an anticipated shift toward micro-sizing individual units within assisted living facilities," author Jack Bass says.
Have a great weekend! I'll be at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need me.