House approves ACA expansion bill | WHO withdrawal could hurt US flu vaccine planning | Gilead sets pricing for remdesivir
June 30, 2020
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House lawmakers voted 234-179 to pass legislation that would expand the Affordable Care Act several days after the Trump administration filed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the health care law. The bill, which is not expected to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate, would expand eligibility for health insurance subsidies, increase federal funding for Medicaid expansion and permit HHS to negotiate lower drug prices to fund the changes, among other provisions.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/29),  The Hill (6/29) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
The pending withdrawal of the US from the World Health Organization could leave it out of the loop when global health officials meet to decide what strains to include in the flu vaccine for upcoming influenza seasons. These meetings also cover animal viruses that could be looming threats, and Nancy Cox, who led the CDC's influenza division for 22 years, said the agency would be "flying blind."
Full Story: STAT (tiered subscription model) (6/29) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Gilead sets pricing for remdesivir
(Ulrich Perrey/Getty Images)
Gilead Sciences outlined pricing for its COVID-19 treatment remdesivir as it prepares to start charging for the medication next month, with plans to sell vials at $390 each to governments of developed countries and for US patients on government-sponsored insurance, and it will charge private US health insurers $520 per vial. A full course of treatment will cost $3,120 for US patients with commercial insurance, compared with $2,340 for those covered under government programs.
Full Story: CNBC (6/29),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/29) 
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Medication nonadherence accounts for 57% of avoidable health care costs, according to Doug Long, vice president of industry relations at IQVIA. Medication synchronization, support to reduce side effects, patient oversight with phone contact and secure messaging are approaches that specialty pharmacies are taking to mitigate medication nonadherence.
Full Story: Specialty Pharmacy Continuum (6/29) 
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AbbVie's Kaletra, a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir for HIV, did not yield any meaningful benefit in a study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19.
Full Story: Reuters (6/29) 
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PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 270 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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