Congressional Research Service Reports - 542 Matching Results

Search Results

Biologics and Biosimilars: Background and Key Issues
This report discusses biologic and biosimilar medicines and their production and approval by the FDA. Recent legislation regarding FDA approval regulations and federal research and drug development are also discussed.
Telehealth Services Proposed for Medicare Part B Reimbursements, 2018: Fact Sheet
This report discusses telehealth services covered under Medicare and describes the five conditions that a telehealth service must meet to be covered and paid for under Medicare Part B, provides an overview of how the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds telehealth services to Medicare's reimbursable list, and includes a table listing the proposed telehealth services to be added to the CY2018 list for Medicare reimbursement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Pricing and Policy
This report will address frequently asked questions about government and private-sector policies that affect drug prices and availability. Among the prescription drug topics covered are federally funded research and development, regulation of direct-to-consumer advertising, legal restrictions on reimportation, and federal price negotiation. The report provides a broad overview of the issues as well as references to more in-depth CRS products. The appendixes provide references to relevant congressional hearings and documents (see Appendix A) and a directory of CRS prescription drug experts (see Appendix B).
CRISPR Gene Editing Research in Embryos Generates Scientific and Ethics Debate
This report discusses the results of a recent experiment on the use of gene modification for decreasing the chance of children having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which was done through the use of CRISPR to modify the genes of human embryos at a private facility. Restrictions on the use of public funds for such studies, a brief explanation of the science, and ethical concerns are discussed.
FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS): Description and Effect on Generic Drug Development
This report provides a brief history of FDA drug regulation, describes FDA's early risk management programs, and focuses on the agency's current risk management authorities, specifically risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS). The report also discusses issues that have arisen as a result of REMS, particularly the impact on generic drug competition. It does not discuss antitrust issues raised by restricted distribution systems.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Orlando Shooting Revives Debate over Restricting Blood Donations by Gay Men
This report discusses new FDA guidance regarding blood donations from sexually-active gay men. Since the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred (i.e., permanently banned) from donating blood. This action was taken to help control the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through the blood supply.
The FDA Medical Device User Fee Program: MDUFA IV Reauthorization
This report describes current law regarding medical device user fees, the impact of Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFMA) on Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review time of various medical device applications, and the agency's medical device program budget.
Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research
This report discusses issues regarding stem cell research. With certain restrictions, the President has announced that federal funds may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. Federal research is limited to "the more than 60" existing stem cell lines that were derived (1) with the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors. No federal funds will be used for the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or cloning of human embryos for any purposes.
Stem Cell Research
This report provides background on the research and potential applications of research that uses embryonic and adult stem cells. It also provides information about the current federal and state regulatory landscape, related Congressional and international actions, and relevant ethical concerns.
Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
This report examines the the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which creates a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and establishes a new Medicare Advantage program to replace the current Medicare+Choice program.
Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program
This report discusses various issues regarding the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Enacted in 1970, it is the only domestic federal program devoted solely to family planning and related preventive health services.
Pandemic Flu and Medical Biodefense Countermeasure Liability Limitation
This report analyzes Division C of the Department of Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, P.L. 109-148, which was signed into law on December 30, 2005, and which limits liability with respect to pandemic flu and other public health countermeasures.
Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State
This report discusses bills related to Medicare benefits, which include additional assistance for low-income beneficiaries. The assistance would have been in the form of reduced, subsidized or eliminated premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing. Proposals in the 108th Congress will probably also include some of these features for low-income beneficiaries.
U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress
This report will provide an account of global H5N1-related human infections and deaths, outline U.S. government and international responses to the global spread of H5N1, discuss situations in various countries affected by H5N1, and present some foreign policy issues for Congress.
Veterans' Health Care Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides an overview of major issues facing veterans' health care during the 109th Congress. The report's primary focus is on veterans and not military retirees.
Stem Cell Research
This report provides background on the research and potential applications of research that uses embryonic and adult stem cells. It also provides information about the current federal and state regulatory landscape, related Congressional and international actions, and relevant ethical concerns.
Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: H.R. 5, 109th Congress
This report discusses H.R. 5, which would preempt state law regarding some aspects of medical malpractice liability and liability for defective medical products, including drugs. The legislation would among other things, place caps on noneconomic and punitive damages (in states that have not enacted and do not enact caps), eliminate joint and several liability, modify the collateral source rule, limit lawyers' contingent fees, enact a federal statute of limitations, and provide for periodic payment of future damages.
Human Cloning
This report discusses human cloning science and federal policy regarding human embryo research. It provides background on the topic, federal policies, state laws, Congressional actions, and ethical issues.
The Veterans Health Administration and Medical Education: A Fact Sheet
This report supplies facts about the Veterans Health Administration and its medical education. It describes the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its involvement in the medical training of health care professionals. The report also gives details on the VA's academic affiliations, its funding of physician training, and its ongoing graduate medical education (GME) expansion. Figure 1 on page 3 shows the amount the VA spent on education and training from FY2010 to FY2015.
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.
Military Medical Care Services: Questions and Answers
This report attempts to answer basic questions about the Military Health Services System (MHSS), its beneficiary population, the medical services it provides, its costs, and major changes that are underway or have been proposed. Citations are made to more detailed CRS studies where appropriate.
Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation
This report discusses the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, which provides for compensation of individuals injured by vaccinations given as part of a countermeasure plan declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in preparation for potential hostile activities involving the smallpox virus.
FDA’s Authority to Ensure That Drugs Prescribed to Children Are Safe and Effective
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for adult use many drugs never tested in children. Yet clinicians often prescribe them for children believing that the safety and effectiveness demonstrated with adults probably reasonably transfers to younger patients. The data show that this is not always true. To encourage industry to develop drugs and medical devices for pediatric use, Congress has established three programs. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA, P.L. 110-85) reauthorized and strengthened two laws addressing drugs—the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) of 2002 and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) of 2003—and enacted a new law addressing devices—the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act (PMDSIA) of 2007. The historical approach of this report allows an understanding of how and why Congress took these steps.
Form 1099 Information Reporting Requirements as Modified by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
This report discusses the modifications to IRC § 6041 made by § 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and briefly discusses the penalties that can be imposed on persons that do not comply with these information reporting requirements.
Regulation of Clinical Tests: In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Devices, Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs), and Genetic Tests
In vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices are used in the analysis of human samples, such as blood or tissue, to provide information in making health care decisions. Examples of IVDs include pregnancy test kits or blood glucose tests for home use; laboratory tests for infectious disease, such as HIV or hepatitis, and routine blood tests, such as cholesterol and anemia; and tests for various genetic diseases or conditions. More recently, a specific type of diagnostic test--called a companion diagnostic--has been developed that may be used to select the best therapy, at the right dose, at the correct time for a particular patient; this is often referred to as personalized or precision medicine. This report provides an overview of federal regulation of IVDs by FDA, through the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA) and the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and by CMS, through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988.
Mental Health Parity and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
This report provides a brief background on mental health parity and the policy discussion around parity in health insurance coverage; an overview of federal mental health parity law prior to the enactment of the ACA; and an analysis of the impact of the ACA.
Mental Health Parity and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
This report provides a brief background on mental health parity and the policy discussion around parity in health insurance coverage; an overview of federal mental health parity law prior to the enactment of the ACA; and an analysis of the impact of the ACA.
Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Security
This report serves as a primer on pharmaceutical supply chain issues. It (1) describes the chain from manufacturer to patient, including where it is vulnerable; (2) summarizes current federal law, regulation, and FDA policies that Congress and the agency designed to protect the integrity of the final drug product, and indicates where those protections may falter; (3) notes state-level and professional association activities; and (4) discusses areas that Congress, FDA, and industry, health care, and patient stakeholders have suggested might be changed to increase the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program
This report discusses the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act, through which the federal government provides grants for voluntary family planning services.
Patient Safety: Legislation to Promote Voluntary Reporting of Medical Errors
This report provides an overview and some analysis of the patient safety legislation that is being considered by the 108th Congress. It begins with background information on the nature and causes of medical errors, followed by a brief comparison of the differences between mandatory and voluntary reporting systems. The report then discusses some of the legal and policy issues facing state mandatory reporting systems and major national voluntary reporting systems, and identifies design features of effective reporting programs. It concludes with a discussion and side-by-side comparison of H.R. 663 and S. 720.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
Genetic Exceptionalism: Genetic Information and Public Policy
This report provides an overview of the nature of genetic information and its implications for individuals, family, and society. Individuals utilize genetic information to guide health care and other decisions, when possible, and may experience anxiety as a result of genetic test results. Genetic test results for an individual may often be informative for other close family members and thus influence their care decisions. Society must grapple with the effect genetic information may have on our conception of disease, as well as its impact on issues like privacy and equity. The report ends by summarizing the main policy issues involved with a genetic exceptionalist approach to public policy, including defining genetic information; physically separating genetic information from other medical information; unintended disparities between “genetic” and “nongenetic” disease; and the effect of legislation on participation in genetic research, on uptake of genetic technology and on the delivery of high quality health care.
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule
This report discuses the HIPAA privacy rule, which gives patients the right of access to their medical information and prohibits health plans and health care providers from using or disclosing individually identifiable health information without a patient’s written authorization except as expressly permitted or required by the rule.
Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues
This report examines the role that intellectual property rights play in affecting the availability of a patented drug such as Tamiflu during public health crises. The report also explains one legal mechanism for increasing a patented drug’s production without the patent holder’s consent: governments may abrogate a pharmaceutical company’s patent rights by issuing compulsory licenses to other drug companies to manufacture generic versions of the drug.
Military Health Care: The Issue of “Promised” Benefits
In the debate over the Department of Defense policy on military health care benefits, many military personnel and retirees say that they were promised “free health care for life” when they entered the armed forces. What benefits are available and who is eligible to receive these benefits are matters determined by Congress. This report discusses the issue of “promises” of lifetime health care benefits made to military retirees.
The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases
This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries, and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, particularly related to TRICARE and its various aspects.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program: Overview and Impact of the Affordable Care Act
This report discusses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which makes federal funds available to metropolitan areas and states to that provide a number of health care services for HIV/AIDS patients.
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE (the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund).
Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues
This report discusses professional football players' injuries and health conditions that might have long-term consequences for their health.
End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care
This report provides information on various aspects of end-of-life care: (1) demographic and historical changes affecting death and dying in the United States (2) the definitions of end-of-life, palliative, and hospice care (3) costs associated with end-of-life care (4) end-of-life care laws and ethics (5) quality of care at the end of life and (6) policy issues that would modify or expand the federal government's role in addressing end-of-life care.
The 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu" Outbreak: An Overview
This report provides an introduction to the situation regarding the potential of a global human influenza pandemic caused by the new H1N1 flu strain. It includes a brief chronology of events; a discussion of key actions taken and authorities invoked by the WHO and the U.S. government; and information about key U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents.
The 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: An Overview
This report provides an overview of key actions taken and authorities invoked by WHO and the U.S. government. First, it discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a threatened or emerging flu pandemic and touches on a number of related issues. The report then examines actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities.
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report summarizes key issues in domestic public health and medical preparedness and response, citing other CRS Reports and sources of additional information. Key recent events--the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic, among others--sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats.
Federal R&D, Drug Discovery, and Pricing: Insights from the NIH-University-Industry Relationship
This report explores the reasons behind government funding of research and development and subsequent efforts to facilitate private sector commercialization of the results of such work, without addressing issues associated with drug costs or pricing. It particularly looks at the manner in which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports research to encourage the development of new pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, particularly through cooperative activities among academia, industry, and government.
Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies
This report discusses the issue before Congress of whether to continue the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients and their providers, in accordance with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medicinal use of botanical cannabis products when recommended by a physician, especially where permitted under state law.
Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines: International Trade Issues
This report focuses on the relationship between intellectual property right (IPR) provisions in international and U.S. trade policy and access to medicines. This issue represents one component of a broader debate about the relationship between trade policy and public health.
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE - the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund.
FDA Regulation of Follow-On Biologics
This report provides a brief introduction to the relevant law regarding follow-on biologics, the regulatory framework at the FDA, the scientific challenges for the FDA in considering the approval of follow-on biologics, and a description of the proposed legislation.