May 11, 2017

What happened at the Senate FDA user fee markup

(Carolyn Kaster / AP)

Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee used a drug user fee reauthorization markup as a platform for discussing bigger health care fights, including prescription drug prices and the GOP's health reform effort. And yes, they approved the bill to renew the user fees that help fund the Food and Drug Administration — so relax, FDA.

Read on for the highlights.

  • The user fee bill passed 21-2.
  • A bipartisan amendment focused on increasing generic drug competition, authored by Sens. Susan Collins and Al Franken, also passed unanimously.
  • An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would allow drugs to be imported from Canada was tabled after extensive debate throughout the hearing.
  • Some Democrats made personal appeals to Chairman Lamar Alexander to include them in health reform efforts. Franken, a Democrat, said problems with Affordable Care Act exchanges and prescription drug costs are "the two glaring issues" facing the committee. "You have been someone who believes in working in a bipartisan way to solve problems," Franken said directly to Alexander. "If we do not have an overall working health care system in which to do these things, much of the discussion today is irrelevant," said Sen. Maggie Hassan, after discussing the opioid crisis and prescription drug costs.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 368,533 — Total deaths: 11,008 — Total recoveries: 19,972Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Public health update: Funeral homes are struggling to handle the pandemic.
  5. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  6. Tech update: YouTube has removed thousands of COVID-19 videos for violating policies related to spreading medical misinformation.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Stephanie Grisham out as White House press secretary

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is departing her post to return to the East Wing as First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff, the White House announced Tuesday. The news was first reported by CNN.

Why it matters: Grisham will leave after nine months without ever having held a formal press briefing. Her departure follows the arrival of new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has a chance to overhaul a communications shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

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Why it matters: SoftBank is viewed by many in the private markets as an unfaithful partner. If this reaches trial, that reputation could either become widely cemented or reversed.