CMS OKs Wash. plan to use subscription model for hepatitis C drugs | House Speaker agrees to change drug pricing proposal | Customers sue PillPack for privacy violations
June 14, 2019
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CMS OKs Wash. plan to use subscription model for hepatitis C drugs
The CMS approved Washington's plan to implement a subscription model with makers of expensive hepatitis C drugs for its Medicaid program. Under the model, the state would pay a fixed annual amount to a drugmaker in exchange for unlimited supply of hepatitis C medications.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (6/13),  Health Payer Intelligence (6/13) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
House Speaker agrees to change drug pricing proposal
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she has heard the complaints of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and will make changes to her drug pricing plan, which includes requiring Medicare to negotiate prices on a minimum of 25 drugs annually. Pelosi said she would increase the number of drugs up for negotiation to around 250, according to lawmakers who met with the Speaker.
The Hill (6/12) 
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Customers sue PillPack for privacy violations
Lawsuits filed within the last year accuse PillPack, Amazon's online pharmacy, of invading customers' privacy by calling or texting to solicit business. PillPack says the allegations are false.
Becker's Hospital Review (6/13) 
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FDA to test blockchain tech for Rx drug tracking
IBM, Merck, Walmart and KPMG will create a shared blockchain network for an FDA pilot program to identify, track and trace prescription drugs in real time.
Reuters (6/13) 
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Trump administration finalizes rule expanding use of HRAs
The Trump administration issued a final rule allowing employees to use tax-free health reimbursement arrangements to purchase health insurance coverage in the individual market with certain limitations starting next year. The rule, issued Thursday, will also permit employers that offer health insurance coverage to provide a special HRA funded at up to $1,800 per year to reimburse employees for short-term health plans, which do not comply with the Affordable Care Act.
The Associated Press (6/13),  The Hill (6/13) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
EpiPens may be effective long after labeled expiration date
EpiPens and other epinephrine autoinjectors might continue to work months after their labeled expiration date, researchers report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, and the finding could save patients money. Autoinjectors contained 100% of the original dose six months after expiration and 95% of the original does one year after expiration.
Reuters (6/13) 
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Amgen's Herceptin biosimilar approved by FDA
Amgen's Kanjinti, or trastuzumab-anns, a biosimilar version of Roche's Herceptin, or trastuzumab, has been approved by the FDA. The drug is indicated for the treatment of patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer and HER2-overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.
OncLive (free registration) (6/13),  Seeking Alpha (6/13) 
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[We] thought that once we'd climbed the mountain, it was unlikely anyone would ever make another attempt.
Sir Edmund Hillary,
mountaineer who, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, was the first climber to reach Mount Everest's summit
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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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