Drugmakers invest heavily in patient-assistance programs | PCMA infographic | Congress, HHS consider proposals to make drugs more affordable
May 15, 2017
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Drugmakers invest heavily in patient-assistance programs
Ten of the 20 largest charities in the US in 2014 were patient-assistance programs funded by drugmakers, accounting for more than 7.7% of the drugmakers' operating expenses, according to investment banking firm Bernstein. "This explains, in part, the drug industry focus on limiting patient out-of-pocket costs. Since it is the drug industry that pays a significant portion of these costs, restricting them would significantly improve profitability," according to the report.
Politico Pro (subscription required) (5/12) 
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PCMA infographic
Infographic: PBMs' management of specialty drugs
Specialty pharmacies play an important role in patient care, and payer-aligned specialty pharmacies have the technology and clinical expertise to enhance the safety, quality and affordability of care for patients receiving specialty medications. See the full infographic.
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Congress, HHS consider proposals to make drugs more affordable
Language in a bill reauthorizing FDA user fees would give makers of generic drugs more guidance and opportunities to meet with FDA officials during the drug development process. Other proposals for controlling drug prices include changing FDA rules to facilitate pre-approval communications between drugmakers and insurers.
Roll Call (free content) (5/15) 
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Some senators push immediate Medicaid cuts
Mike Lee, R-Utah, is among the Senate Republicans pushing for faster, deeper cuts to Medicaid funding, potentially leaving millions of Americans uninsured and pushing costs higher for states and hospitals.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/14) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
AstraZeneca reports positive results on lung cancer drug
AstraZeneca reported that durvalumab, an immunotherapy approved to treat bladder cancer, reduced the progression of lung cancer after chemotherapy or radiotherapy in a clinical trial. The company is eyeing the drug, branded Imfinzi, as a potential blockbuster.
Reuters (5/12) 
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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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