Generic opioids gain momentum against brand-name drugmakers | Employers weigh health insurance options | Doctor-patient communication plays role in drug adherence
January 2, 2013
PCMA SmartBrief
News for the PBM Industry

Featured Story
Generic opioids gain momentum against brand-name drugmakers
Brand-name drugmakers behind the narcotic painkillers Opana and OxyContin appear to be losing their bid to prevent the introduction of the drugs' cheaper generic versions. "We understand the value in developing appropriate abuse-resistant technology, and we want to find a way of incentivizing that," said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton of the FDA. "But we also understand the value of generics for patients." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/1)
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Employers weigh health insurance options
Employers must decide whether to continue offering health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty and have workers find their own coverage through exchanges. The Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance for full-time workers beginning in 2014. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/1)
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Doctor-patient communication plays role in drug adherence
Doctors who establish a good, trusting relationship with patients may be able to help improve adherence to prescriptions, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests. Data on 9,377 patients using blood glucose, blood pressure or cholesterol drugs showed 30% may not have been following prescribed directions for medication use, but that number fell 4% to 6% among patients who reported having better communication with their physicians. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/31)
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PBM Industry News
Congress works out Tricare changes
To reduce costs, senior beneficiaries will fill prescriptions for chronic conditions through mail-service or base pharmacies under changes to the Tricare health insurance program. The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.) (12/29)
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Differences between branded drugs, generics may reduce adherence
Differences in color and shape between branded drugs and their generic counterparts may be connected with prescription nonadherence, according to a controlled study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Changes between generic products with different physical characteristics may cause confusion and result in reduced adherence or prescription error," researchers wrote. "... Taking steps to permit (or even require) similarity in pill appearance among bioequivalent brand-name and generic drugs may offer another way to achieve better patient adherence to essential medication regimens." Medscape (free registration) (12/31)
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Mylan receives FDA nod for generic seizure drug
The FDA has granted Mylan Pharmaceuticals approval for its chewable phenytoin tablets in 50 mg strength to address seizures, including during and after neurosurgery. The drug is a generic formulation of Pfizer's Dilantin tablets. Drug Store News (12/28)
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Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them."
-- Rose Kennedy,
American philanthropist
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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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