Clinton Unveils Drug Price Cap Plan and Aetna and Anthem Questioned by Congress over Mergers
This week in healthcare, Hillary Clinton unveils a plan to cap drug prices and Aetna and Anthem are grilled by Congress over their proposed merger deals.
Recently presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced a plan to “cap monthly and annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for patients suffering from chronic illnesses.”
As the 2016 presidential candidates vie for support, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s plan to address high health care costs includes “capping out-of-pocket drug expenses at $250 a month” and allowing Medicare to “negotiate lower drug costs and increase federal scrutiny of pharmaceutical company pricing.”
Amid loud celebrations about the approval and launch of the first biosimilar drug in the U.S., some are predicting the road to product inclusion will be harder than previously thought. “A large educational effort is required,” said a spokesperson.
This opinion piece argues that the public outrage over high-cost hepatitis C drugs is spreading to other drugs, and that imposing too many restrictions could put a damper on health innovation.
As multiple presidential hopefuls call for restrictions on drug pricing, this Wall Street Journal article argues that “price controls will limit new therapies” and put restrictions on investment and innovation.
This article argues that specialty drug “prices are rising when basic rules of markets say they shouldn’t. Each step of progress costs more than the last; prices rise even when competitors appear, when the market size expands, when drugs work less well than hoped.”
As Aetna and Anthem move toward their merger deals with Humana and Cigna (respectively), they are coming under intense scrutiny in a Congressional hearing.
Speakers at the 2015 Big Data workshop argue that “radiation oncology is well positioned to harness big data to assess quality, facilitate research, and enhance patient care.”
FierceHealthPayer reports that “The four states that operate their health insurance exchanges with support from the federal Healthcare.gov platform have primarily reported positive experiences, but challenges remain.”
A recent study of drug prices around the world found discrepancies that led the UK’s NHS to deny coverage for certain drugs based on “unnecessarily exorbitant prices.” For example, “Imatinib (Gleevec) – for leukaemia and some other cancers – costs $31,867 in the UK but $28,675 in France and just $8,370 in Russia. Sorafenib (Nexavar), for liver cancer, costs $57,232 in the UK but $49,715 in Spain and $44,543 in France.”
Recently Cure Forward, “a multi-sided platform bridging the gap for patients and precision medicine,” announced it would launch its platform beginning in cancer care.
Government Shutdown Showdown
As the deadline to pass a federal budget for 2016 by October 1 approaches, the threat of yet another government shutdown looms.
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