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Category Archive for: ‘Prescription drug spending’

  • Drug companies re-patenting old drugs to extend price monopolies

    Drug re-patenting is making waves in the pharmaceutical market. This practice allows drug manufacturers to continue enjoying a sales monopoly while dramatically reducing research and development costs. In the 1980s, the European Patent Office (EPO) passed patent laws to protect new uses of known drugs. …

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  • Pending Circuit Court Case Could Accelerate Availability of Some Biosimilars

    Pending in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in northern California is a case involving an effort to bring a biosimilar drug to market without making use of the “biosimilars pathway” included in the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).  Depending on …

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  • 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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