Policy analyst: Drug wholesaler mergers increase pharmacy drug prices | FDA reviews Sandoz's biosimilar version of Enbrel | Bill to stop expansion of small-group insurance market clears Senate
October 2, 2015
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Policy analyst: Drug wholesaler mergers increase pharmacy drug prices
Consolidation in the drug wholesaler industry has reduced competition and raised prices for generic drugs, says Devon Herrick, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. "When there are so few firms that control such a large percent of the market, competition suffers. If the market were more competitive, it would be harder for wholesalers to pass price hikes on to drugstores -- and ultimately to consumers," Herrick said. Manipulation of industry pricing lists by wholesalers, boosting profits for themselves and pharmacies, also has been alleged, Herrick said. American Pharmacy News (10/1)
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FDA reviews Sandoz's biosimilar version of Enbrel
Novartis unit Sandoz has submitted an application to the FDA for approval of a biosimilar version of Amgen's Enbrel, or etanercept, which is indicated for a variety of autoimmune diseases including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Reuters (10/2)
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Bill to stop expansion of small-group insurance market clears Senate
The Senate fast-tracked and passed a bill to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act rule expanding the definition of the small-group market. The bill was already approved by the House and stands a good chance of being signed by President Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/1)
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Economists' letter to Congress supports ACA excise tax
Congress should not repeal the Affordable Care Act's excise tax on health care plans over a certain dollar amount unless they replace it with an equally effective cost-containment alternative, 101 economists wrote in a letter to Congress. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/1)
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Presidential candidates float ACA, health care proposals
If elected president, Hillary Clinton would leave Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act largely unchanged, while one of her competitors, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is pushing for a single-payer, Medicare-like system for all. On the Republican side, most candidates say they would repeal the ACA, but they disagree on how to replace it. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/The Associated Press (10/2)
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Tris regains rights to Tussionex
Tris Pharma has begun marketing a self-branded version of Tussionex, a hydrocodone polistirex and chlorpheniramine suspension, for upper respiratory problems associated with colds and allergies. Par Pharmaceuticals' rights to market the drug have expired. Drug Store News (10/1)
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He who rejects change is the architect of decay."
-- Harold Wilson,
former UK prime minister
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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 216 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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