Mo. still lacks Rx monitoring program as opioid abuse epidemic continues | Video: PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt highlights PBM solutions to address the opioid crisis | PCMA press release: PCMA highlights PBM solutions to address the opioid crisis
November 13, 2017
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Mo. still lacks Rx monitoring program as opioid abuse epidemic continues
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order four months ago to establish a prescription drug monitoring program, but the state Office of Administration still has not finalized the contract to develop the database. Law enforcement officials at a recent summit cited the lack of a PDMP as an impediment to tracking opioid abuse.
The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (tiered subscription model) (11/9) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Bill would keep Pentagon out of the drug-approval business
Lawmakers have negotiated a compromise that would direct the FDA to prioritize approval of medical products meant for battlefield use when requested by Defense Department officials.
Axios (11/10),  Regulatory Focus (11/10) 
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New shingles vaccine would be covered under Part D, not Part B
A CDC advisory committee strongly endorsed the use of GlaxoSmithKline's Shingrix shingles vaccine in people older than 50, even if they already received Merck & Co.'s Zostavax. Assuming the CDC director accepts the committee's recommendation, commercial health plans and Medicaid will offer coverage, as will Medicare through Part D prescription drug plans.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (11/10) 
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Hepatitis B vaccine by Dynavax gets FDA OK
The FDA approved Dynavax Technologies' Heplisav-B, a two-dose vaccine indicated to enhance the body's immune response to the hepatitis B virus in adult patients. The decision was supported by data from three late-stage studies, in which Heplisav-B demonstrated a 95% rate of protection versus 81% with Engerix-B.
Reuters (11/9),  MD Magazine online (11/9) 
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PBM Industry News
Anthem to cover DMD drug when medically necessary
Anthem will cover Sarepta Therapeutics' Exondys51 treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy when "medically necessary" based on recent scientific information and feedback from clinicians.
Reuters (11/9) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Bayer's liver cancer drug rejected by NICE
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended against the use of Bayer's Stivarga, or regorafenib, as a treatment for adult patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who have access to sorafenib. The cost regulator said the survival benefit of the drug is "not clear" in patients who cannot have sorafenib, have more severe liver disease or poorer performance status, and it did not consider the plausible estimates included in the normal range of acceptable use for the National Health Service.
PharmaTimes (U.K.) (11/8) 
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We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.
William James,
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About PCMA
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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