Pharmaceutical firms continue to raise drug prices despite consumer concerns about prescription drug affordability, driving up health care costs and health insurance premiums, AHIP said in testimony submitted to a Senate hearing on drug prices. Shortening the exclusivity period for biologic drugs, banning pay-for-delay settlements and evergreening of patent protections, and limiting product hopping can help lower drug prices by boosting market competition and ending patent gaming practices, AHIP said.
HHS has extended the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency for an additional 90 days, which allows the federal government to issue emergency use authorizations for vaccines, tap funds to address the pandemic and take other actions. The emergency declaration has been in place in the US since late January 2020.
The Vaccine Community Connectors program vaccinated 2 million seniors against COVID-19 in under 100 days. More than 50 health insurance providers took part in the program, which was launched by AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and focused on identifying and communicating with members who live in the 25% most at-risk communities in America. Learn more.
Experts are urging employers to address worker burnout, which has risen during the pandemic and is evidenced by higher reporting of mental health issues, a higher-than-ever "quit rate" and increased premature deaths. Experts discuss how burnout is an employer problem, not a worker issue, and stress that the right leadership is essential to creating a work culture where practices that contribute to burnout are not tolerated.
A US House bill, the Fair COLA for Seniors Act of 2021, would require Social Security to use the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to determine cost of living adjustments for beneficiaries. "Using a COLA that actually reflects how retirees spend their money -- especially in health care -- is a no-brainer that will increase benefits and make Social Security work better for the people it serves," said bill sponsor Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
With high caliber content that reflects the challenges you face every day, AHIP's State Issues Retreat Online (Sept. 13 and 14) is an incomparable experience. You'll come away with ideas and information to help your state guide greater health. Gain insights that translate to your state and the communities you serve. Learn more.
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