N.J. pharmacist pleads guilty to kickbacks, health care fraud | Experts advise consumers to shop before renewing health plans | Minority groups urge FDA to reconsider generic drug labeling proposal
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October 15, 2014
PCMA SmartBrief
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Featured Story
N.J. pharmacist pleads guilty to kickbacks, health care fraud
Pharmacist Vladimir Kleyman, the president of New Jersey-based Prescriptions R US, pleaded guilty to health care fraud and conspiracy to pay kickbacks. San Francisco Chronicle (free content)/The Associated Press (10/14)
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Experts advise consumers to shop before renewing health plans
Health insurance plans purchased through the federally run Affordable Care Act exchange will be renewed automatically, but subscribers should at least ensure their financial and other information is up-to-date. Consumer advocates and other experts also advise comparison shopping. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/15)
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Minority groups urge FDA to reconsider generic drug labeling proposal
A letter from 20 African-American and Hispanic community and health care groups urged the FDA to fully assess the potential negative consequences of its generic drug labeling proposal on patient access and care costs. The groups said multiple labels could lead to noncompliance and cited a recent survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University that showed the proposed rule would cause confusion for patients and providers. Drug Store News (10/14)
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PBM Industry News
AbbVie might price hepatitis C drug to compete
AbbVie's three-drug combination treatment for hepatitis C is expected to be approved soon, but the treatment is not as convenient as Gilead's newly approved Harvoni. Consequently, AbbVie might price the drug such that pharmacy benefit managers give it preferred placement on formularies, says Roger Longman, chief of research firm Real Endpoints. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (10/14)
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Adoption of biosimilars could cut overall drug costs
A report released last month by Evaluate found that per-patient revenue for the top 100 drugs has increased sevenfold since 2010. The report cited possible reasons, including high costs of drug development, greater interest in drugs that target rare and orphan diseases and a lack of competition. Biosimilars have the potential to bring down costs significantly, according to the report, but the FDA has been slow to issue guidelines. American City Business Journals/Boston/bioflash blog/Mass High Tech (10/14)
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Share of health care spending that goes to meds is projected to hold steady
An Altarum Institute report found that total U.S. prescription drug spending last year reached $381 billion, or 13.1% of total health care spending. That figure includes medicines delivered by providers in clinics and hospitals. Prescription drug expenditures will remain steady at 13% of total spending over the next decade, the report projected. Modern Healthcare (subscription required)/Vital Signs blog (10/14)
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Supreme Court to hear case on Teva's Copaxone patent
The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear a case today involving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' patent on the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated the patent, and Mylan and Novartis unit Sandoz are among the drugmakers working on generic versions. Teva has been moving patients to a new patented formulation of the drug. Reuters (10/15)
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Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you've been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are."
-- H.G. Wells,
British author
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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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