Healthcare Roundup—Legislators call for price transparency for insulin 

Report: Value-based contracts, transparency could bring down insulin prices 

The Congressional Diabetes Caucus issued a report on the rising cost of insulin and identified 11 policy recommendations that could bring down prices. 

The market for insulin is not especially competitive, the legislators found, with just three drug companies producing it and three wholesalers controlling 85% of distribution. As such, moving toward more value-based contracts and promoting price transparency are two crucial solutions to drive down costs. 

The report also suggests allowing generic drugmakers to produce older, off-patient insulin formulas and capping out-of-pocket costs for patients who have chronic diseases like diabetes.

“Many cannot live without [insulin], but countless patient struggle to afford it,” Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., the caucus’ co-chairs, said. “As their out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, the current system is unfairly putting insulin out of reach, placing millions of lives at risk.” (Announcement

VA moves ahead with deadly experiments on dogs despite backlash from Congress, veterans 

Medical researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing on with fatal experiments on dogs, despite controversy over the practice, documents obtained by USA Today show. 

The department was conducting lethal research on the dogs that it says could lead to crucial breakthroughs in spine and respiratory care. However, some veterans advocacy organizations decried the studies, and Congress had implemented stiff restrictions. 

USA Today’s investigation found that nine experiments on dogs are active within the VA, with more potentially planned. The VA maintains that the research is “ethically sound.” (USA Today)

Mayo Clinic asks congressional candidate to remove it from political ads 

Mayo Clinic has asked a Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota to stop using its name in political ads. 

Jim Hagedorn and the National Republican Congressional Committee aired an ad that notes Mayo topped U.S. News & World Report’s list of the country’s best hospitals, before warning that Democratic opponent Dan Feehan would “blow up” by pushing for universal healthcare coverage. 

Mayo Clinic said in a statement that it doesn’t work with campaigns. 

“Mayo Clinic does not endorse candidates nor does the organization coordinate with political campaigns on activities or endorsements,” the healthcare system said. (Fox 47)