The business of healthcare is the top of this week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog. AllianceRx Walgreens selects Inovalon for its new cloud-based specialty pharmacy, and there’s a move afoot to learn from retail giants like Amazon and apply the lessons to health organization management. Meanwhile, states plan to sue the Trump administration over its adjustments to the ACA that allow groups of businesses and others to band together to buy coverage. This and more in the Innovation Partners BioBlog.



AllianceRx Walgreens Prime Selects The Inovalon ONE® Platform For Cloud-Based Specialty Pharmacy Capabilities

Inovalon announced a five-year engagement with AllianceRx Walgreens Prime to provide cloud-based implementation of an advanced specialty pharmacy platform. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is the combined central specialty and home delivery pharmacy formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime). The new platform is hoped to reduce time to fill and costs with new quality assurance systems built in.
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Gottlieb: FDA needs to fill data gaps as it looks to increase access to targeted therapies

The FDA plans to make critical drug endpoints of treatment available online, according to statements made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. These endpoints will include drugs evaluated outside of the traditional randomized trial format and will allow providers to more easily judge what treatments may work for their patients, Gottlieb stated.
The FDA is rethinking clinical trial designs as part of the government’s push to provide greater access to treatments for patients.
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What the Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway venture’s CEO pick says about their plans—and the industry

Atul Gawande, M.D. is no stranger to applying the concepts of commercial ventures to the healthcare scene. His most famous work applied lessons learned from The Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant, to hospitals. Now, Gawande and others are looking to a joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to improve healthcare. Critics say Gawande has little experience running a large healthcare organization. A look inside the progress of the three giants towards a new model of healthcare.
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With Roche Data, Cancer Combos Post First Win Vs. Small Cell Lung Cancer

Roche’s Genentech division announced that in a 403-patient Phase 3 study, a combination of its immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and the chemotherapies carboplatin and etoposide performed better than the chemotherapies alone. This is the first time an immunotherapy-chemotherapy combination has succeeded in a late-stage study of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
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Research Team Discovers Drug Compound that Stops Cancer Cells from Spreading

Scientists talk a lot about killing cancer, but what about stopping it from spreading? To do so, you have to halt its movements. Now, progress has been made to do just that. Researchers at OHSU Bergan Basic Research Laboratory believe they have developed a drug that actually freezes cancer cells before they can move. Third Coast Therapeutics has shown interest in the drug.
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AHIP18: How Intermountain plans to fight pharmaceutical monopolies as a generic drugmaker

Former Utah Senator Dan Liljenquist, vice president of Intermountain Healthcare’s Enterprise Initiative Office, conducted an investigation of the generic drug market. The findings are surprising. Monopolies dominate after competition had been reduced from 6 or 7 drugmakers to 1 or 2, shutting off new entrants to the market. This reduction in competition has led to increases in prices.
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Providers want to make healthcare consumer-friendly—but they struggle to implement it

Kaufman Hall surveyed 425 people at 200 healthcare organizations and found that just 8% are taking a strong consumer-centric approach to healthcare. While the healthcare industry believes consumer-driven care is the future, providers are finding it difficult to adjust to this model. A consumer-driven healthcare model enables patients to shop for the best prices and services to receive the care they desire at the prices they wish to pay.
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NY, Mass. to sue over Trump health plans skirting ObamaCare requirements

New York and Massachusetts intend to sue the Trump Administration over expanding health insurance plans that do not meet the qualifications of the Affordable Care Act. The states are concerned that the expansion will enable fraud and mismanagement to enter into the plans. The Trump administration finalyzed a ruling that would allow small business and other groups to band together to purchase health insurance plans, which would potentially help lower their rates. Industry experts believe the expansion is favorable to the insurance industry.
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