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August 25, 2023

Washington Roundup

The Department of Justice announced on August 21,

  • [“D]eferred prosecution agreements resolving criminal antitrust charges against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA. As part of those agreements, both companies will divest a key business line involved in the misconduct, and as an additional remedial measure, Teva will make a $50 million drug donation to humanitarian organizations. Teva will pay a $225 million criminal penalty — the largest to date for a domestic antitrust cartel — and Glenmark will pay a $30 million criminal penalty. Both companies will face prosecution if they violate the terms of the agreements, and if convicted, would likely face mandatory debarment from federal health care programs.
  • “The agreements each require the companies to undertake remedial measures, including the timely divestiture of their respective drug lines for pravastatin, a widely used cholesterol medicine that was a core part of the companies’ price-fixing conspiracy. This extraordinary remedy forces the companies to divest a business line that was central to the misconduct. Teva must also donate $50 million worth of clotrimazole and tobramycin, two additional drugs with prices affected by Teva’s criminal schemes, to humanitarian organizations that provide medication to Americans in need. Both Teva and Glenmark have agreed, among other things, to cooperate with the department in the ongoing criminal investigations and resulting prosecutions, report to the department on their compliance programs, and modify those compliance programs where necessary and appropriate.” 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released its new strategic plan for fiscal years 2022 through 2026

  • “The new Strategic Plan reflects our thoughtful assessment of the agency’s mission, goals, and objectives in light of current conditions and what we expect in the next few years,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A Burrows. “It emphasizes expanding the EEOC’s capacity to eliminate systemic barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace, using technology and other tools to improve our services to the public, and achieving organizational excellence with a culture of accountability, inclusivity, and accessibility. I am grateful for the hard work of our staff across the agency who assisted in developing this plan and look forward to its successful implementation.”.

Health Payer Intelligence relates,

  • “CMS has released draft guidance detailing a new program allowing Medicare beneficiaries to pay out-of-pocket Part D costs in monthly installments.
  • “The Medicare Prescription Payment Plan is required under the Inflation Reduction Act and will take effect in 2025.
  • “The program mandates Medicare Part D plan sponsors to offer Part D beneficiaries the option to pay their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs monthly over a year instead of at the point of sale. Part D sponsors must pay the pharmacy the out-of-pocket cost-sharing beneficiaries would have paid if they were not in the program. Sponsors will then bill beneficiaries monthly for the cost-sharing.
  • “The program is available to all Medicare Part D beneficiaries, but CMS indicated that those incurring high out-of-pocket costs earlier in the plan year are more likely to benefit from the payment plan. The agency will develop tools to help beneficiaries decide if the program will be helpful.
  • “While the program will not reduce beneficiaries’ overall out-of-pocket costs, spreading the costs throughout the year can help ease some cost-sharing burden, CMS said. Additionally, beneficiaries will owe $0 upfront when picking up medication at the pharmacy.”