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ACA Repeal, Replace or Repairs…is ACA Reform Dead for Now?

IP Blog | Dave Melin | August 13, 2017

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week’s Bioblog focuses on the broader opioid epidemic and concerns over rising incidence of opioid utilization to control cancer pain. President Trump has signified that he will use his bully pulpit to push for new opioid controls and policy changes. Other articles this week include an update and analysis of the Affordable Care Act debate, changes in prescriber patterns among institutions who ban detailers, consumer puzzlement over insurers’ rejection of generic drugs, and more. Be sure to check back weekly on the Innovation Partners Bio Blog for the week’s top industry news.

Repeal, Replace, Repair, Retreat — Republicans’ Health Care Quagmire

Repeal, replace, or repair? That’s the quandary the Republican party finds itself in as it contemplates the Affordable Care Act. This article, from The New England Journal of Medicine, conducts a thorough analysis of the options on the table for the ACA and how each might impact the healthcare industry. The answer isn’t clear cut, but the current debate in Congress represents a potential turning point for the ACA.

Can Pharma Influence Physician Prescribing?

“A medical degree is not a shield against the siren song of marketers.” How much influence marketing has on physicians to influence writing scripts for specific pharmaceuticals is unclear. That there is an influence, however, troubles some. Data suggests that institutions who ban detailers show a decrease in the number of branded prescriptions written.

Senate Passes FDA Reauthorization Act

The Senate passed the FDA reauthorization act. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation, which passed 94-1 and governs the FDA’s authority to collect user fees from the industry it regulates in order to fund its own programs.

‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli found guilty of 3 of 8 charges, including securities fraud

Martin Shrkeli, on trial for allegedly duping hedge-fund investors, was found guilty on 3 out of 8 charges by a Federal jury in New York. Shrkeli, notorious for founding a pharmaceutical firm and raising the price of a life-saving drug to an astronomical $5,000 per dose, was charged with using funds from the drug company profits to repay investors. He faces up to five years in prison. Sentencing is expected soon.

Physicians with high-risk patients struggle under value-based pay model

Physicians who serve low-income, high risk patients are more vulnerable to financial loss in a value-based payment system, a JAMA report states. Practices who treat low income patients with complex medical conditions may fare the worst under such a system.

Take the Generic, Patients Are Told. Until They Are Not.

Consumers, long accustomed to asking for generic medications to save money, are finding that some health insurance companies refuse to cover certain generic medications. In an age when everyone is anxious to lower costs, the practice does not make sense, especially to consumers accustomed to accepting generic versions of medications.

Study Reveals Higher Opioid Use among Cancer Survivors

A new study found that cancer survivors are more likely to use opiates than those who have never been diagnosed with cancer. These findings come at a time when concern is rising over the opiate addiction epidemic in America. Among the study’s findings, the rate of opioid prescribing is 1.22 times higher among cancer survivors than a control group.

Google’s Health Spinoff Verily Joins the Fight Against PTSD

Verily, the health-focused spinoff of Google, will play an important role in the collection and management of data in a new study analyzing the potential biomarkers of PTSD. The study includes 19 hospitals and over 5,000 patients and seeks to find biomarkers for the development and diagnosis of PTSD.

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