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Category Archive for: ‘Prescription drug spending’

  • Games Drug Companies Play to Keep Drug Prices High

    Just recently, we ran across two new examples of pharmaceutical manufacturers acting counter to the interests of patients and payers.  In one case, the manufacturer of a drug losing patent protection next year decided to turn off supply of the patented drug in order to …

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  • Focus on Community Pharmacy Medicare Fraud

    A recent New York Times article, “Pervasive Medicare Fraud Proves Hard to Stop,”  states that “Fraud and systematic overcharging are estimated at roughly $60 billion, or 10 percent, of Medicare’s costs every year, but the administration recovered only about $4.3 billion last year.”  Let’s put …

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  • Federal Trade Commission Weighs in on PBM Compensation Disclosure

    As we noted in an earlier piece, the ERISA Advisory Council this year is studying the issue of whether pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) should be required to make compensation and fee disclosures to employee health plan sponsors.  On June 19, 2014, the Advisory Council held the first of …

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  • CBO Confirms Competition Works to Reduce Medicare Part D Costs

    The Congressional Budget Office has just released a new report, “Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program,” that details how the Medicare Part D program has successfully harnessed competitive forces to bring down prescription drug costs. First some really encouraging news.  According to …

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  • Concerns grow around new antibiotic bill and its effect on patient outcomes

    The Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment Act of 2013 (ADAPT Act) (H.R. 3742)was introduced by a bipartisan group of representatives on December 12th, 2013. The purpose of the Act is to advance drug development in order to combat the serious and growing public health …

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  • Specialty Drugs to Skyrocket Medicare Part D Costs

    The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report has just been released, and its projections for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit costs are sobering. First the good news.  Medicare Part D expenditures for 2013 came in lower than previously projected.  Actual Part D benefit payments of $69.3 …

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  • The MODDERN Cures Act – Part 2: The Question of Regulatory Incentives in Drug R&D

    On June 11, 2014, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee heard a panel of experts testify on the role of incentives in the U.S. healthcare system. The hearing was held as a part of the legislative effort – namely the 21st Century Cures …

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  • The MODDERN Cures Act – Part 1

    In September 2013, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced the MODDERN Cures Act (Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network Cures Act of 2013 – H.R. 3116). In a strong show of bipartisan support, this bill recently had 64 co-sponsors who span both …

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  • Sovaldi: A Poster Child for Predatory Pricing

    In a previous post, we discussed how patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections will benefit from Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) – one of a new class of blockbuster HCV drugs. It was reported that 95% of patients were cured by this drug during a 12-week …

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  • The High Cost of “Buy and Bill” in Cancer Treatment and Reasonable Solutions

    In 2013, approximately 14.5 million Americans were either recently diagnosed with cancer, being treated for cancer, or a cancer survivor. That part of the population over 65 accounted for 52.8% of new diagnoses even though they only made up 13% of the total U.S. population. …

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