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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

FDA tries to speed along cheaper 'abuse-deterrent' opioids

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it wants to help drugmakers produce cheaper, generic versions of prescription opioids that cannot be crushed or otherwise manipulated to produce a fast, dangerous high. Published July 20, 2018

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., gestures after being introduced before a general election campaign event with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Friday, July 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. Harris is headlining a pair of fundraisers for Casey. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Senate Democrats offer resolution to protect Obamacare

Senate Democrats on Thursday pressured Republican leaders to step in and protect Obamacare from a state-driven lawsuit that threatens Obamacare's main protections for sicker Americans, saying President Trump's refusal to defend the program leaves them no choice. Published July 19, 2018

FILE - In this May 3, 2018 file photo, California state Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, poses for photos in his campaign office in Los Angeles. The California Democratic Party has snubbed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein by giving its endorsement to her rival, de Leon. He won the party nod Saturday, July 14 after a vote of the party's roughly 360-member executive board made up of local officials and party activists.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

California Senate challenger calls for Trump's impeachment

Senate candidate Kevin de Leon urged Capitol Hill leaders Wednesday to kick-start the steps needed to remove President Trump from office, saying his actions during the recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin amounted to treason. Published July 18, 2018

This Oct. 25, 2011, file photo shows the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG on one of their buildings in Basel, Switzerland. (Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP, File)

Novartis joins Pfizer in deferring drug-price hikes

Novartis on Wednesday became the second major drug company to defer price increases in 2018, citing a "dynamic environment" in the U.S. as President Trump attempts to swat away critics and use market-based pressure to bring costs down. Published July 18, 2018

State lawmaker Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, who has been an advocate of the Medicaid expansion initiative, speaks in Boise, Idaho, Friday, July 6, 2018, to a group of volunteers who gathered over 70,000 voter signatures to place the measure on this November's ballot. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP)

Idaho voters to decide whether to expand Medicaid

Idaho voters will decide this fall whether to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, state Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said Tuesday, after proponents turned in more than enough signatures to put the issue on the general-election ballot. Published July 17, 2018

An employee works among the shelves of the flagship Dougherty's Pharmacy in Preston Royal Village on Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Dallas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

FDA pushes for more prescription drugs to be sold over-the-counter

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it is pushing to let consumers purchase more medicines without prescriptions, saying better labeling and digital apps that let patients "self-select" drugs would expand access to cholesterol-reducing pills, opioid overdose-reversing naloxone and other drugs. Published July 17, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (left) failed to divest himself of certain holdings, said the ethics office. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price squandered about $341,000 in government funds, according to the HHS inspector general's report. Mr. Price left his position last September.
testifies before a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Space Subcommittee and House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee joint hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Ross says he is selling off all his vast stock holdings after news reports raised questions about the timing of some of his stock transactions and he received a sharp reprimand from the chief federal ethics officer. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (Associated Press photographs)

Price, Ross under fire for ethical lapses, travel costs, business holdings

Watchdogs fired a double-barrel shot at the Trump administration for ethical lapses last week, ruling the Health and Human Services Department should have stopped its former secretary's lavish travel plans, and that current Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. is financially entangled with businesses he shouldn't be. Published July 15, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, right, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wait in the East Room before President Donald Trump announces his nominee for the Supreme Court at White House, Monday, July 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) **FILE**

AG Sessions launches operation to crack down on fentanyl crimes

Saying there's "no such thing as a small case," Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered lieutenants in areas with the highest overdose rates to doggedly prosecute every case involving fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, saying too many lives are being lost to the potent drugs. Published July 12, 2018

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, Texas Republican. (Associated Press/File)

House GOP debates Obamacare subsidies

With their Obama repeal efforts failed and with customers howling over rising costs, House Republicans went back to the drawing board Wednesday looking to come up with new solutions to boost consumer choices and free businesses from the 2010 law's punishments. Published July 11, 2018

FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet, in New York. Cities and counties of all sizes have sued companies that make and distribute prescription opioids. Among the plaintiffs so far: Philadelphia; the state of Ohio; Princeton, West Virginia; the Cherokee Nation; and a consortium of counties across Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Hundreds of Ohio Medicaid enrollees at risk of opioid overdose: HHS IG

Rogue prescribers and Medicaid "doctor shoppers" are using taxpayer-funded insurance to fuel the deadly opioid epidemic, according to a new audit Tuesday that found 1 in 6 people on Ohio's government-run health program for the poor were prescribed opioids and hundreds of them were at "serious risk" of overdosing. Published July 10, 2018

This April 6, 2016, file photo shows the Pfizer logo appearing on a screen above its trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) ** FILE **

Trump lashes out at drug company for price hikes

President Trump, who recently predicted "voluntary, massive drops" in drug costs, accused a leading pharmaceutical company Monday of jacking up prices "for no reason" and taking advantage of American consumers. Published July 9, 2018