Healthcare policy news headlines: Drug pricing reform, shots for tots, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcing vaccines%%title%% %%sitename%% Goodfuse ,
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Where the Tiny Trees Are

Hot Topics | November 5, 2021

The grandeur of Washington, D.C.’s most famous attractions can easily distract from its smaller gems. Case in point: the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum which is the world’s first (and self-proclaimed finest) museum devoted to Bonsai. Located on the grounds of the National Arboretum in Northeast D.C., the museum has received numerous accolades including “Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner” and “Best First Date Activity.” The museum boasts a collection that includes examples of Japanese Bonsai, Chinese Penjing and plants native to North America cultivated in these East Asian styles. Oh, and did we mention admission is free?

Now for the big healthcare stories that made headlines this week:

Drug pricing reform: back from the dead

  • Like a corpse on Halloween, efforts to include drug pricing reform in the Democrat’s social spending bill came back to life this week. The caucus agreed on a measure that would permit Medicare to negotiate drug prices in select situations, cap out of pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 annually, and prevent drug companies from raising prices faster than inflation. Drugs eligible for negotiation would include small molecules that are more than nine years old and complex biologics more than 12 years old. (The Hill, Axios)
    • Read more: STAT’s Washington Correspondent Rachel Cohrs breaks down who wins and who loses under this policy. (STAT)

Coming soon to a pediatrician near you: shots for tots

  • On Tuesday, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a unanimous recommendation from an advisory committee to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old. The Director’s action paves the way for these shots to be administered as soon as this week, with the pediatric vaccination campaign reaching full capacity next week. (STAT, Axios)

More news on mandates

  • The Biden Administration announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will begin enforcing the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard. The policy covers two-thirds of all U.S. workers, and will require covered workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Tuesday, January 4, or face weekly testing. There are limited exceptions, and 17 million healthcare workers will not have the option to undergo weekly testing. (Axios, The Washington Postfull text below)

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