April 20, 2021
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A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found 50 drugs accounted for 80% of Medicare Part B drug spending, and the 250 top-selling Medicare Part D drugs with a sole manufacturer and no generic or biosimilar version accounted for 60% of net Part D spending in 2019. The findings show that Medicare drug spending is "highly concentrated among a relatively small share of covered drugs, mainly those without generic or biosimilar competitors," according to the report.
Full Story: Kaiser Family Foundation (4/19) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Fifteen percent of Americans said their financial situation has become worse than it was before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 55% said their circumstances are largely unchanged and 30% said they are better off than they were previously, a survey by Impact Genome and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found. Among people who reported living below the poverty line, 29% said their personal finances worsened and only 16% reported being able to save money in the past three months, and the survey of more than 2,300 adults also found racial disparities, as 39% of Black Americans reported saving money recently compared with 57% of white Americans and 47% of Hispanics.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/13) 
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The FDA and CDC are likely to decide by Friday whether to restrict or issue additional warnings about Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, says National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.
Full Story: United Press International (4/18) 
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CDC: Americans 16 and up can now get COVID-19 vaccine
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
All US individuals ages 16 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC, which said those with underlying medical conditions that raise the risk for serious complications should be given priority. Nearly 211.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the US as of Monday, with more than 85.3 million people now fully vaccinated.
Full Story: Reuters (4/19),  Reuters (4/20) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
The FDA asked Emergent BioSolutions to suspend production of COVID-19 vaccine substances at its Baltimore facility while an investigation of quality issues is underway, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Johnson & Johnson will work with the manufacturer after the investigation to remediate shortcomings.
Full Story: CNBC (4/19) 
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Pfizer is likely to gain $24 billion in revenue on the strength of its COVID-19 vaccine this year, and Moderna is likely to gain $14 billion, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal says. The estimate assumes that the US will not order more Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines than are already on order, and that if booster shots are administered in the fall, most will be messenger RNA vaccines.
Full Story: FiercePharma (4/19) 
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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley,
writer, editor, journalist
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About PCMA
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for 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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