In this week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog, we take a look at a new report from Accenture Life Sciences which indicates that patients prefer to turn to patient groups rather than pharmaceutical companies for resources and information. This may indicate a potential opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to explore. Several legal battles are in the spotlight, including the Trump Administration’s push to put drug prices in TV ads and its quest to help patients access pricing information on hospital services. This and more 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.

Appeal shows Trump’s HHS isn’t giving up on putting drug prices in TV ads

The Trump administration filed an appeal Wednesday, six weeks after a judge struck down its regulation requiring companies to add the list price of a drug into its TV advertising. Merck, Amgen and Eli Lilly, along with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) protested and won a reprieve one day before the regulation was to take effect.The U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. vacated the rule on the grounds that HHS did not have the statutory authority to adopt it.

Patient groups top pharma when it comes to providing support, survey says

A new report from Accenture Life Sciences indicates that patients prefer to receive information from patient groups rather than from pharmaceutical companies. There’s a growing trend of patients relying on groups for emotional, financial, and educational support. The survey found 67% of patients in the U.S. said patient organizations understand financial, emotional and other support needs, versus less than half (48%) who felt pharma understood those same needs. This underscores an opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to become a patient resource.

Conservative group launches ad campaign against Democratic drug pricing plan

A conservative advocacy group plans to launch a seven-figure ad campaign against the Democrats’ efforts to allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices. The American Action Network (AAN) plans to launch a $2.5 million ad campaign to call on Congress to reject what the group says are “government price controls” placed on Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, called Part D. Ads will air in 35 House GOP districts.

Don’t give up yet on biosimilars, Gottlieb says. Congress could give them a boost

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb hasn’t given up on biosimilars even though they’ve barely made a dent in the U.S. market. Gottlieb is calling on Congress to support and bolster the biosimilar market. One suggestion is to tweak existing laws to promote biosimilars.Gottlieb argued, for example, that lawmakers could require branded drugmakers to sell samples to biosim developers at a fair price.

Judge grants preliminary injunction blocking former CVS executive from joining Amazon’s PillPack

A U.S. District Court judge in Rhode Island granted a preliminary injunction to enforce CVS’ noncompete agreement blocking the executive who ran its Caremark retail network from working for Amazon’s online pharmacy PillPack. John Lavin, who negotiated with retail pharmacies on behalf of CVS Caremark, the company’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), had a noncompete agreement that barred him from working for a competitor for 18 months should he leave CVS. Lavin worked at CVS Pharmacy for 27 years, most recently as senior vice president for provider network services at CVS Caremark. Lavin accepted a position with Amazon in April. CVS filed a lawsuit and sought a preliminary injunction, arguing Lavin’s work with PillPack would violate the agreement.

CMS wants hospitals to post their rates. But hospitals aren’t sure how

Although the Trump Administration has been pushing for hospitals to post their prices, hospitals themselves aren’t sure exactly how to do that. Some officials have complained that they do not have contracts automated in order to post such rates. Others say it will create major problems as they release payer rates with little context for the patients who are supposed to benefit from such transparency. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed the requirement hospitals post payer-negotiated rates for certain shoppable services starting on Jan. 1, 2020, as part of its outpatient payment rule earlier this month.