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February 8, 2013
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News for the PBM Industry

  Featured Stories 
  • PCMA urges CMS to keep coverage affordable, flexible
    CMS should permit payers to "determine the number of drugs to be covered within the benchmark plan's classification system based on clinical evidence and treatment effectiveness," the Essential Health Benefits Coalition said at a recent news briefing. "Benefits must not only be comprehensive, but also cost-effective, and plan sponsors really need the flexibility to be able to design clinically based formularies and negotiate bigger price concessions from drugmakers," said Charles Coté, PCMA's assistant vice president for strategic communications. "HHS should continue to focus on whether plans are covering the right kinds of drugs to treat relevant medical conditions, not just focusing on the number of drugs covered." AIS Health/Drug Benefit News (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Legislative & Regulatory News 
  • Safety problems persisted for years at big compounders
    Three of the 15 large compounding pharmacies Washington Post journalists investigated had serious ongoing safety issues. Lapses at PharMEDium Services, ApotheCure and Central Admixture Pharmacy Services have been linked to customer illnesses, with the latter two connected to deaths, but state pharmacy boards and federal regulators failed to shut the companies down or force lasting improvements. The Washington Post (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama renominates Tavenner as CMS chief
    President Barack Obama asked the Senate to confirm Marilyn Tavenner as CMS administrator. Tavenner has been acting administrator of the agency since 2011. The Senate has not confirmed a CMS chief since 2006. Bloomberg (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Proposed Miss. insurance exchange denied by HHS
    HHS rejected the application of Mississippi's insurance officials to operate a insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. The move intervenes in the dispute between Gov. Phil Bryant and state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, both Republicans, over the best approach to dealing with the health care law. Bryant's opposition made it impossible for the insurance officials to proceed with their plan, HHS said. The Wall Street Journal (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PBM Industry News 
  • Drug dispensing is big business for some oncology practices
    About a third of oncology practices and clinics have an affiliated pharmacy from which they dispense oral cancer drugs as well as anti-nausea drugs, anti-emetics and other ancillary products, a report published in the Journal of Oncology Practice finds. Some payers do not cover therapies dispensed by practice-affiliated pharmacies, preferring that oral oncology drugs be dispensed through specialty pharmacies, writes industry expert Adam Fein. Drug Channels (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Drug Industry Spotlight 
  • Amgen plans launch of blockbusters' biosimilars in 4 years
    Amgen intends to commercialize biosimilar versions of six of the biggest-selling biologic drugs including Humira and Remicade, the main rivals of its own rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel, starting in 2017, CEO Robert Bradway said. The biotech firm sees biosimilars as a multi-billion-dollar opportunity, and it expects to become a major player in the market once the approval pathway is finalized. Reuters (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ruling blocks generics of Merck's Vytorin, Zetia
    Merck & Co.'s patent on cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin is valid, a federal appeals court ruled, thereby blocking Mylan's bid to market generic versions of the drugs. Vytorin is a combination of Zetia and Zocor, the latter of which is available in generic form. Reuters (2/7), Bloomberg (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over."
--Alfred E. Perlman,
American businessman


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Charles Cote
Assistant Vice President, Strategic Communications
(202) 207-3610

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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 210 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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