House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation: “Vaping in America: E-Cigarette Manufacturers’ Impact on Public Health”

Wednesday, February 5: The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing with executives from five e-cigarette manufacturers serving as witnesses. The executives of Juul, Fontem, Japan Tobacco International, NJOY and Reynolds American testified about marketing strategies and the public health effects of vaping. Find more details on the hearing here.

Why this is important: The witnesses testified a day before FDA’s partial ban on unapproved flavored cartridge-based electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products went into effect. Together, the companies represent approximately 97 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market. Juul holds more than two-thirds of the yearly market share, followed by Reynolds, NJOY, Fontem and Japan Tobacco International.

House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health: “More Cures for More Patients: Overcoming Pharmaceutical Barriers”

Wednesday, February 5: The Subcommittee on Health of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on pharmaceutical barriers to patient treatment. Find more details on the hearing here.

Why this is important: The subcommittee is investigating pharmaceutical tax write-offs, including charitable donations, the financial benefits of certain drug approval pathways and how the 2017 tax law affected drug prices.


House Oversight Again to Hold Hearing on Trump Administration’s 2020 Opioid Strategy

On Feb. 4, the House Oversight and Reform Committee announced it will hold a hearing later this month to further investigate the Trump administration’s national drug strategy, released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on the same day.

The strategy itself features a number of specific goals to tackle the opioid crisis, including: reducing the number of overdose deaths by 15 percent by 2022; reducing illicit drug use among teens; increasing provider education on best opioid practices; reducing opioid prescriptions; and reducing the production and presence of drugs other than opioids, including cocaine, in other countries. State officials recently told Congress that non-opioid drug use, including cocaine use, was gaining traction in their states and they called for flexibility to use federal funds to address them. The strategy also seeks to double the number of facilities that offer medication-assisted treatment by 2022, as well as increase the number of federal health workers certified to administer and prescribe buprenorphine from 4 percent to 10 percent by 2022. Find the ONDCP strategy here.

Read more on healthcare policy on the McGuireWoods Consulting website.