February 23, 2021
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Featured Story
The House Budget Committee voted largely along party lines to advance President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, setting the bill for a full House vote later this week. The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans earning less than $75,000 per year, direct funding for local and state governments, and higher funding for vaccine distribution and testing.
Full Story: CNN (2/23),  The Hill (2/22) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
HHS secretary nominee Xavier Becerra is expected to talk about his family's experience with the US health care system during confirmation hearings. Becerra is also expected to discuss his work as a member of Congress on the Affordable Care Act, Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicare, and his work as California attorney general prosecuting Medicare and Medicaid fraud, opioid makers and anticompetitive practices.
Full Story: Politico (2/22) 
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The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into the effects of physician group and health care facility consolidation over the past six years. "The study results should aid the FTC's enforcement mission by providing much more detailed information than is currently available about how physician practice mergers and health care facility mergers affect competition," the FTC said.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (2/21) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Pharmacists at Inova Health System say they could vaccinate hundreds more people each week if they were allowed to pool partial doses of COVID-19 vaccines remaining in vials, but the FDA says rules against pooling leftover COVID-19 vaccines prevent dangerous contamination.
Full Story: NBC News (2/23) 
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GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have restarted the development of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate after data from the Phase I/II trial in December induced a lower immune response when tested in older adults. The new midstage study will test three varying antigen doses together with an adjuvant at a fixed dose in 720 volunteers from the US, Panama and Honduras that are age 18 and older.
Full Story: PharmaPhorum (UK) (2/22) 
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Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.
Gordon Parks,
photographer, film director, musician, writer, co-founder of Essence magazine
February is Black History Month
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About PCMA
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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