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May 21, 2018

In This Issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Maine Chapter, American College of Surgeons Conclude Successful Meeting in Kennebunkport
Trump Administration Releases Drug Pricing Blueprint
Maine's is Named One of the Best Medical Examiner Offices in the Country
Urge Patients to Confirm Mailing Address for New Medicare Card
Pain Specialists Report Significant Barriers to Care
Medicaid Waivers: Work Requirement OK'd in N.H.; Lifetime Limits Denied in Kansas
Nominations Sought for Mary Cushman, MD Award
Int’l Mediterranean Diet Month: Making the Case for a Healthy Diet as a Tool for Diabetes Prevention
Update Will Change Buprenorphine MME Display in Most State PMPs
New Interactive Online Course Ups Physicians’ Nutrition Knowledge, Supports Patients in Diabetes Prevention
128th MAINE LEGISLATURE
Legislative Report: Primary Elections June 12th
UPCOMING EVENTS
Monday, May 21 in Brewer: Next Steps in Addressing Maine's Opioid Crisis
Inspiring Hope: How to Support Recovery Ready Communities - May 24 Conference
One River, One Ocean: June 2-14, 2018
HPV Summit in Brewer June 7th
Wednesday, June 13 in Augusta: Next Steps in Addressing Maine's Opioid Crisis
X Waiver Course in Waterville June 16th
MCMI Training Programs - Level 1 and Level 2 - June 22
New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
Peer Navigation Program from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine 2018 Annual Conference & Meeting - Nov 2-3
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Behavioral Health Consultant
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician Opportunity
Ob/Gyn Physician Opportunity
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Family Practice Physician - Bucksport Regional Health Center
Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
Psychiatry Faculty, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Psychiatric Medical Director
Maine's Largest FQHC in need of Physician for Geriatric Program
Multiple Family Med Opportunities in Beloved Community Health Centers
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

 
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Trump Administration Releases Drug Pricing Blueprint

On May 11, The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs (Blueprint) was issued along with a request for information. The President framed the Blueprint as advancing four goals:

  • Reducing list prices.
  • Improving government's ability to negotiate better prices.
  • Encouraging competition through rapid entry to market of generics and biosimilars.
  • Lowering patient out-of-pocket expenses.

The Blueprint proposes a broad number of changes to prescription drug programs in several federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and other safety net programs) as well as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policies that should impact commercial and federal health care program access to affordable prescription drugs.

While some of these proposals can be undertaken through immediate regulatory or subregulatory actions, others are still on the drawing boards at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and some will require congressional action to implement. Although the Blueprint proposes a select number of programmatic and design changes, there are a large number of questions for which the Administration is seeking feedback.

Based on a preliminary review, it appears that overall there will be increased access to lower-cost alternative generics. However, careful consideration by the AMA and Federation members will be needed on a number of proposed changes to the Medicare Part D prescription Drug Benefit program as well as the Part B drug reimbursement methodology.

One concern is that the proposed changes may limit patient access to medically necessary alternative brand or specialty treatments and result in additional administrative burdens on physicians and patients. Also of concern is the proposal to eliminate the requirement that Part D plans include a minimum of two drugs proven to be effective in each therapeutic category or pharmacologic class, if available.

The AMA will be preparing comments to the various proposals, but does applaud overall efforts to increase competition through a number of FDA proposals as well as proposed bans on gag clauses and ensuring a substantial portion of rebates are received by Medicare beneficiaries at the point-of-sale. 

 

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