PBMs keep prescription drug costs down | Drug-price bill sent to Calif. governor | Senators pitch block grants to replace Medicaid expansion funds, ACA tax credits
September 14, 2017
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PBMs keep prescription drug costs down
Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate rebates and discounts from drugmakers and pharmacies on behalf of employers, reducing overall drug spending by some 28% last year, writes Edmund Pezalla, a scholar-in-residence at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. "It would be too expensive and complicated for employers, or other payers, to match PBMs' ability to reduce drug costs, while providing access," he writes.
The Hill (9/12) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Drug-price bill sent to Calif. governor
A drug-price transparency bill was forwarded to California Gov. Jerry Brown, and if he approves the bill, health insurance plans will have to report specific information on drug utilization and costs to the state. Drugmakers will be required to notify state authorities in advance of certain price increases and justify those increases.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (9/13) 
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Senators pitch block grants to replace Medicaid expansion funds, ACA tax credits
Four Republican senators unveiled what could be the party's final attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, calling on Republicans to support legislation to provide states with federal block grants through 2026 in place of tax credits, Medicaid expansion funding and cost-sharing reduction subsidies; repeal the ACA's individual and employer insurance mandates; and repeal the medical device tax. The deadline for passing the bill under reconciliation rules is Sept. 30.
Politico (9/13),  Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (9/13) 
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House considers FDA user fees for OTC drugs
The House is considering legislation that would authorize the FDA to collect fees from makers of over-the-counter drugs to fund review of new or amended monographs.
Roll Call (free content) (9/13) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Mylan files lawsuit over Allergan's Restasis patent transfer
Mylan alleged in the US District Court in Marshall, Texas, that Allergan is misusing Native American sovereignty to shield its patent for eye drug Restasis. Allergan announced plans to transfer patent rights on the drug to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, potentially placing the patents beyond the purview of the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Reuters (9/12) 
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PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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