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Federal Government to Host Forum to Discuss High Drug Prices


IP Blog | Dave Melin | November 8, 2015

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week in healthcare: the Obama administration has announced plans to hold a forum to discuss high drug costs and drug innovation, and the Council for Affordable Health Coverage suggests that ACA exchanges could learn something about websites from travel sites Expedia and Kayak.

Obama Administration Plans Forum on High Drug Prices

The White House has announced that it will hold a forum to discuss high drug prices. According to Health Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the conference will “consider ways of speeding up the discovery of innovative drug treatments while making them more affordable.”

What Expedia, Kayak Could Teach the ACA Exchanges

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage argues that ACA Exchange enrollment would benefit from a proposal that would “allow private entities to create “consumer-friendly shopping interfaces” which are similar to travel sites such as Expedia or Kayak that allow for comparison shopping.”

Facing Bipartisan Attacks, PhRMA Goes on Offensive

As drug costs become a big issue for the upcoming presidential elections, a spokesperson from PhRMA responded: “We think it’s fair to have a conversation about costs, but if we’re going to do that, let’s have a conversation about costs generally, and where costs in the healthcare system are coming from.”

Challenges with Transforming into an Oncology Medical Home

The chair of the Commission on Cancer (CoC) argued at COA’s recent Payer Exchange Summit that there should be “meaningful feedback from the community to ensure adequate transformation of practices into a medical home” and that the CoC should ensure accreditation.

ASCO Updates Guidelines for Antiemetics During Chemo

A recent article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology detailed a specific ASCO guideline update that for patient receiving chemotherapy, an oral combination of netupitant and palonosetron “is beneficial for prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting.”

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Imposes Cuts to Radiation Oncology Clinics that May Limit Patient Access to Care

ASTRO reports that CMS’s proposed Medicare Fee Schedule “included cuts to radiation oncology clinics that were slightly less severe than anticipated. The final rule reduced physician payment rates by two percent for the radiation oncology specialty in general.”

New Hep C Report Suggests Viekira Pak is ‘Wrong’ Choice, Questions PBM Exclusions

A recent analysis has found that AbbVie’s Viekira Pak, used to treat hepatitis C, is “the least safe option of three leading hepatitis C treatments and may be associated with at least $6.5 million in avoidable downstream medical expenses.”

Dementia Care Costs Vastly More than for Cancer, Heart Disease

An Annals of Internal Medicine study has found that “the most expensive healthcare-related cost of care during the last five years of life was dementia, at $287,038 per patient on average,” compared to “heart disease or cancer, at $175,136 and $173,383, respectively.”

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