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Economists Support ‘Cadillac Tax’ and Physicians Reject ‘Me Too’ Drugs

IP Blog | Dave Melin | October 11, 2015

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week in healthcare, 101 economists write a letter in support of the ACA’s Cadillac Tax and physicians are increasingly avoiding “me too” drugs that have little effect.

Big Pharma Braces for 2016 Assault

As the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates continue to jockey for position, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (the Democratic frontrunners) are proving to be critical of the pharmaceutical industry.

The ASCO Scorecard: What’s in Store for Pharma?

This article expounds on the details, meaning, and impact of ASCO’s recently-released cancer drug scorecard, which “rates drugs based on effectiveness, side effects, and cost.”

Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Hard to Nail Down

A recent study found that, although breast cancer costs in general are hard to pin down, there is one area of clear contrast: “uninsured cancer patients pay up to twice as much for doctors’ visits and 43 times as much for chemotherapy drugs compared with what Medicare and private insurance pays.”

U.S. Cancer Doctors Drug Pricey Drugs with Little or No Effect

A recent interview of top cancer specialists found that they are unimpressed with what they call “me too” drugs and “are increasingly declining to prescribe medicines that have scant or no effect, even as a last resort.”

Economists Favor Controversial ‘Cadillac Tax’

As the controversy surrounding the so-called “Cadillac Tax” provision of the ACA continues, 101 economists have written a letter to Congress in support of the tax, arguing that “the Cadillac tax will help curtail the growth of private health insurance premiums by encouraging employers to limit the costs of plans to the tax-free amount.”

New Drugs, Devices Target Obesity, but Insurers, Employers Focus on Lifestyles

Although multiple weight-loss drugs have recently entered the market, “insurers and employers are hesitant to cover them, instead concentrating their efforts on changing the culture of wellness with their members and employees.”

New NCPA Report Highlights How Drug Wholesalers, Independent Drugstores Profit from Generic Price Hikes

According to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis, “drug wholesaler price manipulation and the relationship these large Fortune 50 companies have with drugstores is hurting competition and increasing costs.”

Trade Deal would Limit Protections for Pharma Firms

At a recent meeting in Washington, participants say a deal has been made to reduce the length of pharma monopoly rights: “brand-name companies would receive up to eight years of monopoly rights for drugs known as biologics — a decrease from the current 12 years provided under U.S. law.”

Blues Plans Have Been Slow to Move to Medicare, but Growth Opportunity Remains

Although Blues plans have not moved as quickly to Medicare, this article argues that “a growing acceptance of MA coverage among younger seniors and stable pricing mean there continues to be a growth opportunity for Blues plans.”

Panel Recommends Primary Palliative Care Services for Medical Oncology Practices

A panel of experts jointly convened by ASCO and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine has released “the first formal consensus-based recommendations regarding the types of palliative care services that constitute high-quality primary palliative care in oncology.”

2015 Symposium Highlights Notable Research Advances in Palliative Care

Explore the titles and abstracts of research presented this weekend at the 2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium.

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