HHS on Friday delayed the start of a rule issued by former President Donald Trump's administration that would eliminate manufacturer drug rebates paid to pharmacy benefit managers and Medicare Part D plans, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and the District of Columbia.
- California: Verily Life Sciences has named Preston Simons as the company's new CIO. Simons has previously served as EVP and CIO at Aurora Health Care and as VP of IT and CIO of Abbott Laboratories. Most recently, Simons served as president and managing partner of Simons & Associates (Cohen, Modern Healthcare, 1/28).
- District of Columbia: HHS on Friday delayed the start of a rule issued by former President Donald Trump's administration that would eliminate manufacturer drug rebates paid to pharmacy benefit managers and Medicare Part D plans. The rule had been scheduled to take effect on Friday, but HHS delayed its effective date to March 22 or later, for some of the rule's provisions, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). In a statement, PCMA said the rule "was haphazardly finalized and clearly circumvented the proper rulemaking process" and therefore should be "promptly and permanently repealed" (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 1/29; Minemyer, FierceHealthcare, 1/29; Cohrs, STAT+ [subscription required], 1/31).
- District of Columbia: Peter Marks, head of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, on Friday said FDA is working on a "streamlined" process to authorize any potential updates to existing Covid-19 vaccines to account for emerging new variants of the novel coronavirus. "We would intend to try to be pretty nimble with this," Marks said, adding that FDA will work to "get these variants covered as quickly as possible" (Sullivan, The Hill, 1/29).