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3/23 Part B Reimbursement Change for Biosimilars; Single Billing Code Gone
Trump Policy Change Is a Win for Drugmakers .... The Trump administration has issued a policy change that could drive up prices of certain biologic drugs, implementing a new industry-backed measure that overturns existing regulation that promoted lower prices .... WSJ$$

3/23 New Drugs Most Likely to Succeed by 2022 — Hemlibra Leads List
12 blockbusters: The surging list of $1B-plus drugs rolling out on the market this year might surprise you .... Data analysts at Clarivate Analytics have just assembled their annual list of all the drugs that are rolling out onto the market this year with a solid shot at breaking the one billion-dollar annual barrier by 2022 .... Endpoints

3/23 Health Agencies Get Funding Boosts in 2018 Budget
The health care provisions inside the $1.3T 2018 spending bill .... Despite pushback from the pharmaceutical industry, CQ News reports that the spending bill maintains changes to Medicare payment ratios included in last month's continuing resolution that makes pharmaceutical companies responsible for 70% of a drug's costs, up from 50%. The change is intended to accelerate efforts to close Medicare's so-called "doughnut hole" .... Advisory Board Daily Briefing

3/23 Rova-T Unimpressive in Phase 2; Disappointing Results from $5.8 Billion Bet
AbbVie's lung cancer drug data disappoints; shares slump .... AbbVie's experimental lung cancer drug data was not effective enough to seek a faster approval, in a setback to the company's efforts to build its cancer drug pipeline .... Reuters

3/23 'Right to Try' Sails Through House on Second Try; Senate OK Expected
House passes 'right to try' drug bill .... The bill lets terminally ill patients request access to drugs the FDA hasn't yet approved without going through the agency. Patients can request the drugs from manufacturers if the medicine has gone through a small-scale clinical trial and is still under FDA consideration .... The Hill

3/23 Synthroid Most Prescribed Drug in Most States; Painkillers Second
Graphic: Opioid Painkiller Is Top Prescription In 11 States .... In 11 states, the top prescriptions are opioid pain pills that are mixtures of acetaminophen and hydrocodone (brand names Vicodin and Norco), according to new data from GoodRx, an online prescription cost service .... Kaiser Health News

3/23 Novo Puts a Dealmaker as Chair
Drugmaker Novo Nordisk Looks to Former Oil Boss to Energise M&A .... Novo is on the hunt for promising assets to boost its struggling blood products business after it lost out to French rival Sanofi in the chase for Belgian biotech company Ablynx in late January .... NY Times/Reuters

3/23 Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Campaign
Boehringer Ingelheim's global IPF effort asks 'why wait?' for treatment in campaign aimed at doctors .... "Some patients might have a medical reason why they should not take the available drugs, or make an informed decision to not proceed with treatment. However, a number of patients do not get treatment immediately after diagnosis as they are not considered 'sick enough,'" (BI spokesperson) .... Fierce Pharma

3/23 Friends in High Places Save Omeros's Business
Eye drug company scores gift in spending bill .... One Wall Street firm estimated that Omeros, the company that makes Omidria, would have to cut the drug's price by 90% to stay competitive without the enhanced Medicare rate .... Axios

3/23 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Gene-based urine test detects urinary tract cancers
Former Lilly CFO to head CVS Caremark
Chain Drug Review
Health care is Democrats' secret weapon in the 2018 midterm elections
Tech's Next Big Wave: Big Data Meets Biology
Fortune (autoplay video)
340B is a well-intentioned drug discount program gone awry
Stat (Opinion)
This Stanford professor says the workplace is the fifth leading cause of death in the US
SF Gate

3/22 Ilumya Approved for Plaque Psoriasis; First Novel Drug from India-Based Generics Maker
Sun Pharmaceutical Announces First U.S. Approval for Novel Drug .... Sun's drug Ilumya was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with moderate to severe cases of the skin condition plaque psoriasis, who are also candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy .... Bloomberg

3/22 Novartis Rep Fesses Up to "Essentially Buying Scripts" in 2002-2011 Speaker Programs Case
Novartis Sales Reps Will Testify About Lavish Meals, U.S. Says .... U.S. prosecutors said numerous Novartis AG sales representatives will testify they plied doctors with lavish meals, booze and other benefits in exchange for promises to prescribe the Swiss company's drugs, as a seven-year-old case moves toward trial .... Bloomberg

3/22 Diabetics with CKD Lose Weight and Lower HbA1C on Farxiga
AstraZeneca Shows Off New Farxiga Data for Diabetes Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease .... Farxiga (dapagliflozin 10 mg) decreased mean hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) by .37 percent at week 24. That was in comparison to placebo, which reduced HbA1C by .03 percent during the same time period, a difference of .34 percent .... Biospace

3/22 Gripping, Beautifully Written Description of First Administration of Luxturna
'That's $425,000 right there' — the anxious launch of a gene therapy with a record sticker price .... It was a high-profile procedure, and families around the country were already nervous enough. The clinical trial results had been good — and in some cases, almost miraculous, with patients able to see the stars for the first time. Still parents couldn't be absolutely sure that the one-time treatment would work .... Stat

3/22 GSK Managers Get Memo from the Top: Cut Your Budgets by 20%
GlaxoSmithKline prescribes commercial reboot for pharma division .... GSK's track record for bringing new drugs to market has actually been in the middle of its peer group since 2011, according to a recent Berenberg bank analysis, but its commercial performance has disappointed .... Reuters

3/22 Britain's NHS Saves $113 Million/Year on Biosimilar Rituximab
Britain's Use of Copycat Biotech Drugs Takes Off While U.S. Lags .... The rapid adoption of two so-called biosimilar forms of rituximab from Celltrion and Novartis has been accompanied by discounts of 50-60 percent as the National Health Service (NHS) has used tenders to bring down costs .... Reuters/NY Times

3/22 CMS to Cover Next Generation Sequencing
CMS Final Coverage Policy for NGS Cancer Assays May Boost IVD Development .... The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) recent move to finalize a national coverage determination (NCD) for next generation sequencing (NGS) cancer panels underscores an emerging trend across the US expected to broaden patient access to targeted therapies .... Regulatory Focus

3/22 Proposed Overhaul of OTC Regulatory Procedures
Congress seeks to update OTC monograph system .... The new bill would allow the Food and Drug Administration to make scientific determinations for OTC ingredients through an administrative order process, which is much more efficient than the current rulemaking system. The current system has not had a significant update since 1972 .... Drug Store News

3/22 Adcetris New Indication Will Rewrite the Book on First Line Hodgkin Lymphoma
Seattle Genetics secures key label expansion for Adcetris .... The FDA has approved a combination of Seattle Genetics Inc.'s cancer drug Adcetris together with chemotherapy for frontline treatment of advanced Hodgkin lymphoma, marking the first new regimen OK'd in over 40 years for patients newly diagnosed with the blood cancer .... BioPharma Dive

3/22 President's Jawboning Hasn't Slowed Price Hikes
Drug prices are still going through the roof .... Since President Trump came into office in January 2017, pharmaceutical companies have hiked the prices of hundreds of drugs at rates that significantly outstrip inflation, according to an analysis conducted by Pharmacy Benefits Consultants .... Axios
Direct link: Pharmacy Benefits Consultants report

3/22 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
China's Aim to Remove Cancer Drug Taxes May Boost Pfizer, Glaxo
Reckitt Benckiser pulls out of Pfizer consumer health auction
Getting Sick Can Be Really Expensive, Even for the Insured
NY Times
FCB Health launches stand-alone agency for pharma and healthcare branding
Fierce Pharma
Medicare hospital margins could hit negative 11% this year, MedPAC says
Advisory Board Daily Briefing
This one factor may cut dementia risk by 90 %— but researchers stress it's too early to tell
Advisory Board Daily Briefing

3/21 Tecentriq Improves PFS vs. Chemo Alone for Some NSCLC Patients
Leapfrogging rivals, Roche's Tecentriq plus chemo nabs PFS endpoint in frontline lung cancer segment .... Researchers combined Tecentriq with Abraxane-based chemo and compared it to chemo in first line patients with advanced NSCLC. At an interim point the combination beat out chemo on PFS with a statistically significant outcome but had yet to show an overall survival benefit .... Endpoints

3/21 Lower Testosterone, Weight Gain — What's Not to Like About the Male Pill?
Birth control pill for men shows promise in early study .... At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed "marked suppression" of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production.... The treatment may also lead to weight gain and decreases in HDL ("good") cholesterol .... CNBC

3/21 Average Person Asks 15 Questions/Year to the Doctor; 165 Health Questions/Year to Google
Practical magic: Google counsels pharma to create 'seamless' digital experiences .... Creating the magic—removing friction—requires marketers to do three things: satisfy curiosity, deliver assistance and make the experience happen quickly .... Fierce Pharma

3/21 Recommended: JP Morgan Blue Ribbon Panel on Fixing Health Care System
Healthcare When It's Needed: How to Mitigate High Costs and Deferred Care .... Key Takeaway 1: We should focus on achieving medical adherence and behavioral change. Merely applying price pressures on consumers is unlikely to achieve this goal .... JP Morgan Chase

3/21 Rebate System on Expensive Drugs Leads to Sick Subsidizing the Healthy
Janssen's New Transparency Report: A Peek Behind the Drug Pricing Curtain Raises Troubling Questions About Rebates .... Janssen reveals that the list price for its pharmaceutical products grew by 8.1% in 2017. Its average net prices, however, declined in 2017 by 4.6%. Janssen paid $15 billion in rebates and discounts, which subtracted 42% from its list prices .... Drug Channels

Tweet of the Day (Chart shows Novo Nordisk data)

3/21 Hospital Coop for Generic Drugs to Begin Operations this Fall
Nonprofit generic drug venture could include third of hospital market .... The driving force behind the plan is not a typical nonprofit backer but a businessman who adamantly believes in the role of capitalism in health care. Dan Liljenquist, the vice president at Intermountain Healthcare who came up with the idea (and ran it by former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt for his approval), describes himself as a conservative Republican .... Politico

3/21 DTC Ads, Both Awareness and Branded, Top FDA Research Agenda for 2018
FDA to study HCP views of pharma promotions this year .... The Food and Drug Administration has previewed its 2018 pharma marketing research topics, which include disease awareness ads, healthcare provider views of pharma promotions, and consumer perceptions of the accelerated approval process. .... MM&M

3/21 1 in 7 Women Get Postpartum Depression; 78% Don't Get Treatment
Lawmakers Weigh Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Screening For Postpartum Depression .... California's bill, AB 2193, goes beyond mandated screening. It would require health insurance companies to set up case management programs to help moms find a therapist, and connect obstetricians or pediatricians to a psychiatric specialist. .... WBUR

3/21 CDC Nominee Dr. Robert Redfield Draws Fire Over 1994 Study
Research Misconduct Allegations Shadow Likely CDC Appointee .... President Donald Trump's likely pick to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is facing significant criticism because of a 20-year-old controversy over shoddy HIV research. .... Kaiser Health News

3/21 News for the Hard of Hearing
Amazon's secretive health team talking with AARP about making products for older people .... A report from 2016 found that the market for technology to assist aging adults is expected to grow from $2 billion to more than $30 billion within several years, with more people opting to age at home or "in place." .... CNBC

3/21 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
FDA seeks data on role of flavors in tobacco addiction
Alzheimer's costs Americans $277 billion a year — and rising
CBS News
Trump Gives Surprise Plug to Opioid Overdose Antidote Company
J&J says it's received a $2.1 billion bid for LifeScan diabetes business
Health insurance help for small business in a big-company tool
Philadelphia Inquirer

Fast Takes
FDA's New Pilot Program Aims for More Transparency

DOJ weighing 'major litigation' against opioid makers, Trump says
Kentucky bid to tax prescription opioids is dropped

3/20 CVS Now Stocks Shingrix For In-Store Jabs
GlaxoSmithKline scores retail deal with CVS, spreading Shingrix to thousands of pharmacies … advancing this process of negotiating access with commercial and Part D plans and in parallel we're beginning to stock pharmacies … 10,000 of its pharmacies in the U.S. now have the shingles immunization on store shelves …[Fierce Pharma]

BBC: Stem Cell Transplant Game Changer For MS Patients
- Stem cell transplant trumped conventional treatments
Stem cell transplant 'game changer' for MS patients … data is stunningly in favour of transplant against the best available drugs - the neurological community has been sceptical … involves wiping out a patient's immune system using cancer drugs and then rebooting it …[BBC]

PBMs Figure Out How To Benefit From Drug Coupons
Drug companies are beginning to wake up to this new risk factor …co-pay accumulator programs don't let drugmaker coupons reduce a patients' co-pay as fully, nor do they help patients meet their out-of-pocket requirements with the coupons … [MarketWatch]
Copay Accumulators: Costly Consequences of a New Cost-Shifting Pharmacy Benefit … target specialty drugs for which a manufacturer provides copayment assistance. Unlike conventional benefit designs, the manufacturer's payments no longer count toward a patient's deductible or out-of-pocket maximum … [Drug Channels]

Novo: Oral Semiglutide Navigates Toward Obesity Indication
- Impressive results for once daily pill
Novo takes aim at obesity with positive semaglutide results … semaglutide 0.4 mg  … Sixty-five percent of those patients taking semaglutide lost more than 10% of their body weight, compared with only 10% and 34% with placebo and Saxenda, respectively … [Biopharma Dive]

China Wants Bigger Piece Of America's Generic Drug Biz
Approvals doubled last year
China pharma boosts generics exports to US … number of approvals for copycat medicines almost doubling last year … Increased generics exports contributed to an 8 per cent year-on-year rise in exports of western medicines from China in 2017 to $3.5bn …[FT]

Should You Treat Pre-Diabetes?
Slightly elevated blood sugar tied to heart and kidney problems … prediabetes was defined as a fasting blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL or a hemoglobin A1c level of 5.7% to 6.4% … Research has been mixed, however, on whether slightly elevated blood sugar that is sometimes called "pre-diabetes" might also increase … [Reuters]\

Many common drugs, not just antibiotics, may kill off gut microbes
Many common drugs, not just antibiotics, may kill off gut microbes … Nearly 1 in 4 other prescription medications, from antipsychotics to antivirals, kill off gut microbes. That could mean old drugs could have new uses -- or have hidden impacts on antibiotic resistance … [STAT]

Fast Takes
Is Johnson & Johnson a Buy?
Motley Fool
Gilead Sciences' $14 Billion-Per-Year Threat
Motley Fool
FDA Explains Doctor Survey on Drug Ads
Pfizer gears up for over-the-counter Viagra in U.K.
Fierce Pharma
Called 'opioid' by the FDA, kratom is illegal in 7 states, but easy to find
SF Gate

Here's Why Psoriasis Ads Flood The Cable News Networks
Why Cable News And Psoriasis Is A Match Made In Advertiser Heaven … Sports, news, travel and weather is where they aim … dvertising spending in 2017 for Humira was $341 million, the most of any prescription drug. Otezla's commercial purchases were $78 million … anyone who has watched cable news of late has seen a commercial for Otezla … [Forbes]

Salon: Right-To-Try Political Ploy, Doesn't Help Patients
- Circumvent FDA drug approval process?
Giving patients the "right to try" experimental drugs is a political maneuver, not a lifesaver … growing body of evidence from policy analysts argues that the legislation would unfortunately accomplish very little change for most patients, and it could actually make it harder to get new drugs approved in the future … [Salon]

You Can Sue The Brand Name Maker For A Generic Drug Sold By Generic House
- Ruling means drugmakers need to update labels for defunct brands or they're liable
Massachusetts court: Merck can be sued over generic drug injury …  opened the door for consumers to sue Merck & Co Inc and other makers of brand-name drugs over injuries blamed not on their own medications but on generic versions of their treatments made by other companies … [Reuters]

All About Prescription-Only Cellphone Apps
Take This App and Call Me in the Morning … A new category of prescription medical treatments, what executives call digital therapeutics, comes in the form of mobile apps … "It's all the things you would traditionally associate with a pill or any other medication,
but it just so happens to be a piece of software." … [NY Times]

Former Opioid Drug Reps Turn State's Witness Against Their Old Company
Former Insys employees agree to cooperate with the feds in kickback probe … Two former sales employees have agreed to cooperate with a federal government probe that prosecutors have described as a "nationwide conspiracy" … Jonathan Roper, a former district sales manager, and Fernando Serrano, a former sales representative also pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to doctors in order to boost prescriptions Subsys … [STAT]

NY Gov Wants "2 Cents/ MG" Surcharge On Opioids
- Here's why it's a terrible idea
Criticism of Cuomo's opioid surcharge mounts … Lawmakers and advocates say the tax -- will likely be absorbed by consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums and co-pays … many people use opioids legitimately to manage their pain and we don't want them to be punished or negatively affected by this proposal … [Times Union]
Editor's Note: Adds that Medicaid is largest purchaser of opioids; government's proposal amounts to a tax on itself.

Tweet of the Day
3/16 Cigna in Court over Clawback Case
Drug pricing lawsuit proceeds against Cigna as lawmaker calls for a closer look at Express Scripts deal .... A complaint filed by several members in October 2016 accused Cigna of violating ERISA and RICO Act by charging members more than 10 times the amount the insurer paid the pharmacy for certain drugs .... Fierce Healthcare

3/16 Your Drugstore Will Give You a Lyft to Come Pick Up Your Meds
Blue Cross, Lyft, Walgreens and CVS partner to help patients get their scripts .... The BCBS Institute will test the pharmacy rides at select Walgreens locations in Chicago and select CVS locations in Pittsburgh. Patients in both cities will also be able to get rides to their primary care physicians .... CNBC

3/16 Alexion's New Drug Not Inferior to Soliris
Alexion's second rare blood disorder drug could fortify future revenue .... The drug could eat into Soliris sales as the experimental drug's dosing schedule is designed to reduce the number of times it needs to be administered to six per year from about 26 with Soliris .... Reuters

3/16 Congressional Battle Heating Up on 340B
Dems, Republicans split on 340B drug pricing program in Senate hearing .... The dividing line between Senate Democrats and Republicans on the 340B drug pricing program was set, with Democrats siding with the hospitals, saying the savings from the program is desperately needed for the poorest populations, while Republicans took the side of drugmakers, saying the program is being abused and needs to be reformed .... Endpoints

3/16 Tech Giants Getting Into Health Care; Mostly in AI
Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple bet big on health with 300+ patents since 2013 .... These and other advances are spurring medtech and biopharma companies to form digital partnerships and pilot programs of their own .... BioPharma Dive

3/16 Courts Ordering States to Provide Hep C Treatment for Prisoners
Hepatitis C Drugs Save Lives, but Sick Prisoners Aren't Getting Them .... One in seven state inmates are believed to be infected... but a 2015 survey found that fewer than 1% were being treated .... NY Times

3/16 New CEO Wants Novartis to Think and Move Like a Software Company
Swiss Pharma Gets a Taste of Silicon Valley .... The Basel-based company is embracing mobile apps, scrums, virtual reality and partners like QuantumBlack, a data-crunching firm that started out helping Formula One drivers gain an edge .... Bloomberg

3/16 Board Sweetens the Pot for Read
Pfizer Lifts CEO's Pay 61% to $27.9 Million With Retention Bonus .... The board approved the award because it's a "compelling incentive" for him to keep running the firm, even though he's eligible to retire .... Bloomberg

3/16 A 'New Kind' of Pharmacy Benefit Manager (Cloud-Based) Gets Big Insurer Partner
Ex-Apple chief says Centene partnership with pharmacy start-up will drive better care with lower costs .... Centene and RxAdvance will work more closely to coordinate medical and prescription benefits for Centene's Medicaid and Obamacare members with chronic conditions, and share in the savings .... CNBC (autoplay video)

3/16 Americans Pay Double What Other Rich Countries Do for Health Care. Two Thirds of the Difference Explained by: Many Costly Procedures; Administrative Costs, Imaging, and Drug Prices
Drug Costs May Not Solely Drive Increasing US Health Care Spending .... In the United States, administrative costs accounted for $752 per-capita compared with $208 in the Netherlands, according to the study .... Specialty Pharmacy Times

3/16 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
FDA takes fresh step towards curbing U.S. nicotine addiction
New class of menopause drugs reduces number and severity of hot flushes
Science Daily
Ionis Sends Nerve Drug to Spinout Akcea as Battle with Alnylam Looms
Eli Lilly gets a date with FDA experts for once-rejected rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib
Endpoints News
If you think you are at high risk for colon cancer, a simple, painless test could let you know
CNBC (autoplay video)

3/15 State Bill Would Ban Midyear Coverage Switching
Daughter's epilepsy controlled by drug — then insurer stopped covering it. Bill would ban such midyear changes. .... The proposed bill would prohibit commercial health insurers from modifying coverage of a drug during the plan year if it has previously approved the drug for a medical condition. It would not prevent plans from requiring pharmacists to give generic substitutions or from adding new drugs for coverage .... Chicago Tribune

3/15 Biggest DTC Advertisers Cut Back in 2017
Here's a DTC shocker: Pharma ad spend actually fell in 2017 for first time in years, Kantar says .... Spending cuts among four of the top five pharma ad spenders—Pfizer, AbbVie, Allergan and Merck—dragged down the total, Kantar reported. Only Eli Lilly upped its ad budget .... Fierce Pharma

3/15 Paging Dr. App
From app store to drug store, digital health is redefining pharma's pipeline .... These products, known broadly as digital therapeutics, deliver treatment to patients through video games, smartphone apps, and sensors buried in pills or attached to medication dispensers. They are designed to stimulate changes in behavior — and in some cases brain function — to help patients control a variety of illnesses .... Stat

3/15 Theranos: $700 Million of Fraud
The SEC Says Elizabeth Holmes' Fraud Was Worse Than Anyone Thought .... To settle the charges, Holmes is giving up 18.9 million Theranos shares, losing voting control of the company, paying a $500,000 fine and will be barred from running a public company for 10 years. She will, however, continue as the chief executive of Theranos .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

3/15 OpEd in Favor of "MyRxCloud" — A Database of All of Patient's Meds Accessible to Them and Their Caregivers
Many Drugs and Many Doctors Lead to Many Mistakes .... a cloud-based, free, ad-free, voluntary, nonprofit mobile app (also available online) that can exchange information with existing electronic health records and does nothing more than keep accurate lists of all patient medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, implants, nutritional supplements, IV solutions and injectables, such as insulin and heparin .... NY Times

3/15 Dead-of-Night Right-to-Try Bill Stopped
House Fails to Pass 'Right-to-Try' Bill .... Critics from academia and the pharmaceutical industry criticized the bill for trying to cut the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) out of the process of overseeing terminally ill patients' access to experimental treatments, which occurs under the agency's expanded access program. .... Regulatory Focus

3/15 Kidney Damage is Occurring Even Before Diabetes is Discovered
Many patients show signs of chronic kidney disease before diabetes diagnosis .... The results suggest that kidney damage often occurs before diabetes is diagnosed, say the researchers. They propose two possible reasons for this early kidney damage: Type 2 diabetes can be undiagnosed for a long time, meaning the kidneys are being damaged without the patient or doctors being aware. Or, kidney damage could come from other conditions common in the population at risk for diabetes .... Veterans Affairs Research Communications

3/15 Celgene Going Private? Not a Realistic Chance
People Are Talking About a Celgene LBO; That Should Worry It .... Along with its sheer size, other factors make going private problematic for Celgene. It would have less access to capital. Its overdependence on its leading drug Revlimid -- which is projected to account for 60 percent or more of its sales into the 2020s -- would make the super-heroic amount of leverage required to do such a deal particularly risky .... Bloomberg Gadfly

3/15 Most Innovative Health Care Companies Ranked
The biggest innovators in health care, according to Fast Company .... The latest list covers 36 categories and recognizes the 10 most innovative companies in each category, with an overall list of the top 50 most innovative companies curated from the category-specific lists .... Advisory Board Daily Briefing

3/15 PBM Shenanigans
A costly PBM trick: set lower copays for expensive brand-name drugs than for generics .... In 2014, patients buying Lipitor had lower copays than those buying generic atorvastatin, even though the generic was much cheaper overall....It turned out that Pfizer had partnered with pharmacy benefit managers to ensure that its more-expensive Lipitor had a lower copay than less-expensive generic atorvastatin .... Stat

Tweet of the Day

3/15 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Weight loss spreads within couples in 'ripple effect'
Fitbit unveils menstrual cycle tracking with latest smartwatch
Drug Store News
Heartburn Meds Not Tied to Hip Fractures in Alzheimer's Patients
How One Small Change Helped People Make Healthier Choices
Intermountain launches new company that aims to transform mental health care
Advisory Board

3/14 Big PBMs and Health Plans Squeezing Out Smaller Specialty Pharmacies
Big Health-Care Players Are Turning Their Partners Into Prey .... Using tactics that have drawn the attention of federal regulators and attracted lawsuits, drug plans and insurers have boxed out their smaller partners so they can take the business for themselves, independent pharmacies say .... Bloomberg

3/14 Top 4 Specialty Pharmacies Account of 2/3rds of Specialty Revenue
The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2017: PBMs and Payers Still Dominate .... In 2017, CVS Health remained the largest dispenser of specialty drugs. Its specialty pharmacy dispensing revenues grew by 9%, to an estimated $35 billion. CVS Health's 2018 revenues will suffer from the loss of the specialty pharmacy benefit for the Federal Employee Program .... Drug Channels

3/14 Witty Gets New Job as Head of Optum
From drugmaker to drug manager: Ex-GSK chief Andrew Witty jumps to the helm of giant Optum .... Optum, which has 140,000 staffers around the world, earns roughly half of UnitedHealth's revenue — $201 billion last year — from three key subsidiaries: OptumHealth and OptumInsight as well as OptumRx .... Endpoints

3/14 First Comprehensive Study of 'Clawbacks'; Includes List of Most Common Drugs Overcharged For
Patients Overpay For Prescriptions 23% Of The Time, Analysis Shows .... Here's how it works: After taking your insurance card, your pharmacist says you owe a $10 copay, which you pay, assuming that the drug costs more than $10 and your insurance is covering the rest. But unbeknownst to you, the drug actually cost only $7, and the PBM claws back the extra $3 .... Kaiser Health News

3/14 Interviews Underway for Health Care Wizard of Oz
Amazon's big health venture with Berkshire and JPMorgan is scouting CEOs -- with VC John Doerr's help .... Candidates approached so far include former Medicare chief Andy Slavitt, former United States CTO Todd Park, and ex-Aetna senior executive Gary Loveman .... CNBC (autoplay video)

3/14 IQVIA: Growing Share of Specialty Drugs Leaves Payers with Few Tools
Drug spending growth to come solely from specialty meds, report says .... Developed markets will spend $318 billion on specialty medicines in 2018, representing 41% of their overall pharmaceutical spend. Net spend on all branded products should fall around 1-3% .... BioPharma Dive

3/14 Promising Gene Startup Attracts Cash and Hype
32-Year-Old Professor Raises $50 Million To Make Drugs To Control Genes .... Changes in the chromatin packaging regulatory system of cells appear to be involved in synovial sarcoma and at least 20 other cancers, including common ones like non-small cell lung cancer, and in other ailments, including degenerative diseases of the brain .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

3/14 "Financial Toxicity" Report Emphasizes Value-Based Pricing
Presidential Panel Says High-Priced Cancer Drugs Harm Patient Care .... In 2013, cancer patients paid $207,000 a year, on average, for their medications, compared with $54,100 a year in 1995 .... HealthDay

3/14 Elagolix, a Fibroid Drug, Touted for Blockbuster Status. FDA Decision Expected by Mid-Year
Is This AbbVie's Next Blockbuster Drug? .... Results from the just-released second trial showed 76.2% of patients responding to elagolix versus just 10.1% of patients responding to placebo .... Motley Fool

3/14 Marketers Say Awareness Ads Pay Off
Unbranded pharma ads—what are they good for? Actually quite a bit, marketing panelists say .... “Unbranded campaigns and content can be particularly helpful when we’re trying to get patients to talk about a condition that may be stigmatized or difficult to talk about with their provider.... " (Aimee Lenar, vice president of gastroenterology marketing at Allergan) .... Fierce Pharma

3/14 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
House Panel Probes Organizations That Accredit Most U.S. Hospitals
Roche CEO says new drugs will offset biosimilar incursions
Right-to-try drug bill could needlessly raise patients' hopes
How an inconspicuous slaughterhouse keeps the world's premature babies alive
Wonder pill for hypertension is here: Drug is a combo of 3 BP-lowering medications
Economic Times

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6  Transparency
This site shall at all times use accessible presentation, you can e-mail the publisher of this site at his personal e-mail address at any time.
7.  Financial disclosure
This site is supported by click advertisements, banner advertisements and affiliate arrangements.  All ads are properly labeled as such.  If you have any questions regarding how we make money please e-mail the webmaster with your questions.  All advertisements shall be clearly distinguished from content.

Badea, Badea, Badea,
That's All Folks!