MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Republicans to base healthcare debate reform on jobs. The House will begin debate on the two-page healthcare repeal bill launched by Republicans, after a week-long hiatus following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). GOP leaders say they will continue to frame the health care debate and the bill as one about a law that they believe costs U.S. jobs, writes ABC News.
Meanwhile, the White House says it’s open to suggestions on healthcare reform. The Obama administration is continuing its effort to reach out to congressional Republicans and reduce the partisan divide in Washington, according to The Washington Post.
Ohio’s newly elected Attorney General Mike DeWine wasted little time making good on a campaign pledge to fight last year’s controversial federal healthcare reform law. Last week, DeWine, a Republican, informed his counterpart in Florida that the Buckeye State would join 20 other states that have already signed on to a legal challenge to the law — called the Affordable Care Act but more widely known as Obamacare. DeWine, like most conservatives who oppose the law, has taken aim at a provision called the individual mandate, which requires that most Americans purchase health insurance or face a penalty, reports MedCity News.
American med-tech dominance wanes? PwC’s latest Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard says the United States’ med-tech industry is losing ground in five key areas — including government reimbursement, locations for innovation and patients who need such treatments — to countries such as Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan and the United Kingdom.
No HIPAA for Steve Jobs. An argument to come clean about what’s ailing Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
It would be tough for anyone, particularly the many admirers of Jobs and his creations, to hear further details of what he is going through. But a single dose of clear and accurate health data would not be nearly so crushing as the endless trickle of desperate info-grubbing, speculation, and uncertainty that ensued every other time Apple has tried saying nothing — and that will surely ensue again if it continues to insist that Jobs’ health is no one else’s business.
Employer healthcare reform. Five items in U.S. healthcare reform employers want repealed:
- Bans on employees using flexible spending accounts for non-prescribed, over-the-counter medications
- The requirement to report the cost of healthcare coverage on W-2 statements
- The $2,500 cap on flexible spending account contributions, which start in 2013
- The excise tax on high-end ’Cadillac plans’
- The requirement to offer health insurance vouchers
Biosimilars BS from Novartis. Via IN VIVO: “The Jan. 10 announcement by Novartis’ Sandoz division of the start of Phase II trials of a biosimilar version of Roche’s rituximab (Rituxan) is beginning to look a bit like posturing.” So why do it? To scare Roche, says IN VIVO.
Biotech information underload? Would a collaborative effort to share medical journals help startups keep up to date? “The information underload issue is certainly worth pondering, given that the overall number of new drugs approved by the FDA in 2010 was the lowest in several years, and the overall success rate in clinical trials is measured in the single digits for a wide variety of diseases.”
Dealflow and more. Aortic valve implant business Symetis raised $25.8 million; sickle cell anemia drugmaker Prolong Pharmaceuticals raised $30 million; Chinese inflammatory bowel disease and cancer company Hutchison MediPharma raised $12.5 million; HPV warts treatment company ViroXis raised $2.5 million; German drugmaker Noxxon Pharma raised $2.6 million; genomics company Ocimum Biosolutions raised $8 million;
Decompressive hemicraniectomy. Here’s a consummate and interesting review of the type of surgery that congresswoman Giffords underwent after her shooting by Neuroscientist blogger Bradley Voytek.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.