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Noncompetes, Healthcare and a New Executive Order

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed a far-reaching Executive Order that could have significant impact on the healthcare industry.  Under the Executive Order, President Biden:

– Encourages the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit noncompete agreements, and to ban unnecessary occupational licensing restrictions;

– Supports the practice of state and tribal programs importing drugs from Canada;

– Directs HHS to increase support for generic and biosimilar drugs, and to issue a comprehensive plan to, “combat high prescription drug prices and price gouging” within 45 days;

– Supports the over the counter sale of hearing aids at drug stores;

– Allows for retroactive challenges to “bad mergers” that were not challenged by previous administrations, with a focus on certain industries, including healthcare; and

– Directs HHS to standardize plan options in the National Insurance Marketplace to allow for easier comparison shopping by consumers.

Although it remains to be seen how the Executive Order will be implemented by the federal agencies involved, its terms are worth noting.  Healthcare practices, facilities and other entities will need to assess how these changes will impact their operations, and be ready for the changes coming.