OPM Director Dr. Jeff Pon appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday to discussion the President’s management agenda. The Federal Times reports that Dr. Pon’s wound up defending the Administration’s proposal for a pay freeze and retirement benefit cuts. 

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration approved for marketing two important new prescription drugs:

  • NPR reports that the FDA approved “a first-of-its-kind drug that reduces the number of migraines among people prone to these sometimes crippling headaches.” The drug is called Aimovig  and it’s manufacturer is Amgen. 

“Drugmaker Amgen says is has set the list price at $6,900 a year. Some analysts had expected the initial price of this drug to be set substantially higher – at $10,000 a year or more. But high prices have recently been generating political backlash, and some expensive drugs have fizzled after insurance companies sharply limited which patients they would cover. 

“With the new migraine drug, those questions will come to the fore quickly, as Amgen says it’s ready to put the drug on the market within a week, and has programs in place to help ease the cost to some patients.”

  • Business Insider reports that the FDA approved the first drug “made expressly to treat signs of opioid withdrawal. The drug will be sold under the brand name Lucemyra by pharmaceutical company US WorldMeds, and its active ingredient is lofexidine. The compound stops the brain from getting flooded with the chemical transmitter that produces most of those flu-like withdrawal sensations.  Mark Pirner, the medical director of clinical research for US WorldMeds, told Business Insider the drug addresses an issue that’s central to the problem of opioid use disorder, or OUD.” This development will improve medication assisted treatment of OUD.  HHS Secretary Alex Azar cheered this news.