An interesting article in the New York Times invited experts to weigh in on how to cut drug prices without compromising innovation. It’s worth a read and brings up many of the challenges facing the industry. Competition among retail pharmacies finds Walgreens partnering with FedEx to offer same-day delivery service and compete with both Amazon and CVS. And senators are taking aim with a new bill intended to force companies to play by Medicaid rules. This and more in this week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog.
CVS Caremark shifts PBM model to 100% pass-through pricing and focus on net cost
CVS Caremark is the pharmacy benefits management arm of CVS Health. Caremark recently announced “Guaranteed Net Cost Pricing,” a move intended to simplify PBM contract pricing. The new model “guarantees the client’s average spend per prescription” after rebates and discounts across retail, mail order and specialty pharmacy distribution channels, a company spokesperson said.
How to Cut U.S. Drug Prices: Experts Weigh In
Although most Americans are uncomfortable with pharmacy drug prices, what are the alternatives to curb the high cost of medications? Several experts examine the pros and cons of various models to lower drug prices with an emphasis on cost containment without destroying innovation and competition. It’s a tough balance, but the ideas presented here are intriguing.
Breast cancer testing guidelines out of date, missing genetic screening, study says
Genetic testing for breast cancer patients is woefully inadequate and limits the number of women who can be screened. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals that the current guidelines miss almost as many people at risk as they identify, and that patients without genetic test results might not receive the appropriate treatment for their cancer, which could be a matter of life or death.
Novartis data demonstrates consistent efficacy and tolerability of Kisqali® combination therapy in HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer in patients with difficult-to-treat visceral disease
Subgroup analyses of three pivotal Phase III MONALEESA trials showed Kisqali plus endocrine therapy extended PFS in all patients with and without visceral involvement compared to endocrine therapy alone; consistent with the overall study populations. In patients with visceral metastasis, increased PFS benefit was seen regardless of burden of disease (=< 3 or > 3 lesions). Approximately 41% of postmenopausal women with HR+ advanced breast cancer will develop their first metastasis in visceral organs, such as the lungs or liver, which is often associated with a poor prognosis.
Healthcare spending slows for 2nd consecutive year, remains at 18% of GDP
Healthcare spending decelerated in 2017, marking the second consecutive year of slowdown. Growth rate in 2017 was at 3.9% which is almost a full percentage point lower than 2016, according to a report from the federal government. Healthcare spending remained stable at 17.9% of GDP. This translates to spending of $10,739 per person on healthcare.
GlaxoSmithKline to Acquire Tesaro for $4.16 Billion
GlaxoSmithKline PLC announced on Monday its intention to acquire oncology drug maker Tesaro. The acquisition will cost GlaxoSmithKline $4.16 billion and will position it strongly within the cancer specialty area.
With new drug pricing legislation, Grassley and Wyden hint at the next steps for a powerful Senate committee
A new bipartisan effort takes aim at ensuring that drug companies play by Medicaid program rules. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are both members of the Senate Finance Committee and appear to be interested in lowering drug prices. The bill introduced by the senators appears motivated by controversy around drug company Mylan’s misclassification of its Epi-pen, which cost taxpayers more when Medicaid recipients bought the drug.
Walgreens launches next-day prescription delivery with FedEx to compete with Amazon
Competition spurs innovation, and Walgreens, ever-sensitive to Amazon’s encroachment in the same-day delivery space, has launched a new service to compete with both Amazon and CVS. The new prescription drug delivery service from Walgreens will offer same-day delivery via FedEx for an additional $4.99.