California Governor Newsom inked bill AB 824 and is expected to sign AB 744 this week, both of which will impact healthcare payment models. Companies seeking to manage healthcare costs are actively trying to influence where medications are delivered. New cancer research in triple negative breast cancer appears promising. Read on for these and other top stories in this week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog.

NCCN Academy for Excellence & Leadership in Oncology

School of Pharmaceutical & Biotech Business
10.29.19 Scottsdale, AZ

This program will give pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals the rare opportunity to view the oncology space, its future and its current operational issues from the provider, advocacy, and payer perspectives.
NCCN Academy Oct 29 Phoenix AZ

NCCN Academy for Excellence & Leadership in Oncology – School of Pharmaceutical & Biotech Business will take place on Tuesday, October 29 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Innovation Partners BioBlog Weekly Newsletter 10.13.19

California bans pharma’s infamous ‘pay-for-delay’ deals

California is seeking to end the “pay for delay” deals pharmaceutical companies use to delay rivals from releasing generic versions of branded drugs. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill, AB 824, on Tuesday that will make California the first state to ban pay-for-delay deals in pharma. The bill will make it unlawful for companies to exchange anything of value in return for a halt to patent challenges from generic drugmakers.

Survey: Site of care, biosimilars key for employers to lower drug prices

A survey of 610 United States employers found that most expect healthcare costs to rise by 4.9% in 2020. To combat this, many are taking an active role in managing the inflated cost of specialty drugs. These drugs treat a range of illnesses including cancer and arthritis. Currently, 21% are urging the delivery of drugs in a doctor’s office or a patient’s home; by next year, that number is expected to reach 51% by 2021. Costs are cheaper for drug delivery in a doctors’ officer or patients’ home compared to hospitals.

J&J steps forward in PARP prostate-cancer race with FDA ‘breakthrough’ for Zejula

The FDA has granted its breakthrough therapy designation for Zejula in metastatic prostate cancer patients who previously received hormone treatments and chemotherapy and who have mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The agency handed Johnson & Johnson the designation based on data from a phase 2 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting in Barcelona earlier this week. This puts Zejula in competition with Lynparza from AstraZeneca and Merck.

U.K. launches trial of Boston Pharma’s resistance-busting combo in triple-negative breast cancer

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London say they’ve found a way to prevent cancer cells in patients with triple-negative breast cancer from escaping chemotherapy drugs. The breakthrough involves disrupting a key process in the evolution of cancer. The ICR team used a drug from Boston Pharmaceuticals called BOS172722 to cause cancer cells to divide too rapidly. When combined with paclitaxel in lab dishes, all cancer cells died, while 40% of those treated with chemo alone survived. The combination treatment was also effective in mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer.

California bill may have ramifications for telehealth reimbursement

A new California bill, AB-744, is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, and it may impact reimbursements for telehealth. The bill would encourage higher reimbursement for telehealth consultation by physicians and is expected to influence Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. Currently, there is no standard reimbursement for telehealth services, and they tend to be reimbursed at lower rates than in-person services.

Almost a year into rules requiring hospitals to post prices online, how are they doing?

A review of 25 major health systems revealed that some are going beyond the letter of the law to make their chargemaster readable by consumers. However, in many cases, the information remains difficult for the average consumer to decipher. This puts it against the spirit of the law which encourages transparency and price comparison.