How drugmakers continue to reap profits after patents expire | Cost of EpiPen increases 400% | Medicaid expansion may have boosted Rx adherence, reduced costs
August 22, 2016
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How drugmakers continue to reap profits after patents expire
Drugmakers often counter efforts by pharmacy benefit managers to encourage use of affordable generics by offering coupons for branded drugs to patients and incentives to pharmacies to accept the coupons.
Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (8/21) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Cost of EpiPen increases 400%
The price of an EpiPen -- used to treat severe allergic reactions -- has risen about 400% since 2008 -- from $100 to $500 or more, and some parents say they can no longer afford the lifesaving devices. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., urged the Senate to open hearings on the matter and said the Federal Trade Commission should investigate.
The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.) (8/21),  KCEN-TV (Waco, Texas) (8/18) 
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Medicaid expansion may have boosted Rx adherence, reduced costs
People who were likely to have high medical bills and who gained health care coverage through Medicaid expansion filled prescriptions 79% more often than they did when they were uninsured and spent an average of 58% less per prescription, according to a Rand Corp. study for HHS.
The Pink Sheet (subscription required) (8/19) 
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Small businesses again offering health coverage to gain edge
Some small employers that had dropped group health insurance plans are offering them again as the labor market tightens and companies compete for employees, brokers and business owners say.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/21) 
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HHS tells Medicaid, CHIP beneficiaries to drop commercial health plans
HHS is sending letters telling people to drop subsidized commercial health plans for members of the household also enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. HHS says people who do not comply will no longer receive financial assistance for marketplace-sold health plans.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/19) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Pfizer reportedly close to buying Medivation for $14B
Drugmaker Pfizer has nearly completed negotiations to take over Medivation, maker of a widely prescribed drug for prostate cancer, in a $14 billion cash deal, people familiar with the matter said. The drug, Xtandi, is already bringing Medivation about $2 billion in sales a year, and analysts say the figure could double or more.
Bloomberg (8/21),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/22) 
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Pfizer's abuse-deterrent opioid painkiller wins FDA nod
Pfizer's abuse-deterrent Troxyca ER, or oxycodone hydrochloride and naltrexone hydrochloride extended-release capsules, has been approved by the FDA to manage severe pain that requires continuous long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. The painkiller is formulated in pellets with sequestered naltrexone hydrochloride in the core, surrounded by oxycodone hydrochloride.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (8/20) 
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Opinion, Commentary & Analysis
Liability costs for generic drugs would spike under FDA draft
An FDA proposal could increase product liability lawsuits against makers of generic drugs, writes American Enterprise Institute fellow and former FDA Deputy Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Additional annual health care costs could reach $8.6 billion by 2024, according to Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/19) 
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If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
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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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