The Catalyst

Week in Review: The Latest from PhRMA

Posted by Tina Stow on April 17, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Spending on Medicines: The Big Picture – PhRMA’s new video explains how high generic utilization rates, competition among brand-name medicines and aggressive tactics by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate lower prices help to keep costs under control

Competitive Biopharmaceutical Marketplace Help to Control Costs – Spending on retail prescription medicines has consistently accounted for just 10 percent of health care spending

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Topics: Value

ICYMI: Has the 340B Program Lost Its Way?

Posted by Allyson Funk on April 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM

In case you missed it, an article in the latest issue of Managed Care Magazine explores the 340B drug discount program. Columnist Richard Kirkner calls 340B a “well-intended program [that] has become a textbook example of unintended consequences.”

Krikner points to the following issues contributing to the current state of the program:

  • Lack of program oversight and accountability.Congress has never given the agency that runs 340B the power to write clear guidelines on who exactly should get these drugs and what providers should do with the savings.”
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Topics: drug cost, 340B, Policy/Regulatory Concerns, 340B Spotlight

Spending on Medicines: The Big Picture

Posted by Holly Campbell on April 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM

There has been a lot of discussion lately on spending on prescription medicines. And too often this dialogue fails to acknowledge that retail prescription medicines have consistently accounted for just 10 percent of U.S. health care spending, even though biopharmaceutical companies have brought more than 500 new medicines to U.S. patients in the past 15 years. In fact, government actuaries project this share of spending to remain stable through the next decade.

How is this possible?

Our new video explains how high generic utilization rates, competition among brand-name medicines and aggressive tactics by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate lower prices all help to keep costs under control.

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Topics: Value, Innovation, drug cost

Paying for Personalized Medicine: Protecting the Future of Patient-Centered Cancer Care

Posted by Guest Contributor on April 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM

At a time of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs in oncology, personalized medicine is enabling more accurate diagnoses and more targeted treatments, increasing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of cancer care.  As President Obama recognized earlier this year, in the announcement of his Precision Medicine Initiative, personalized medicine has reversed diseases once thought to be unstoppable and as a nation, we need to do more to harness the benefits of innovative treatments.

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Topics: Personalized Medicine, cancer

How a Competitive Biopharmaceutical Marketplace Helps to Control Costs

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on April 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM

Too often conversations on the cost of medicines fail to acknowledge the competitive biopharmaceutical market that exists in the U.S., which helps to control costs while encouraging the development of innovative new therapies.

Spending on retail prescription medicines has consistently accounted for just 10 percent of health care spending – a figure that is projected by government actuaries to remain stable through the next decade. This is possible because of high utilization rates of generics, competition among brand-name medicines and aggressive tactics by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate lower prices.

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Topics: drug cost, Hepatitis C

Putting 2014 Figures on Prescription Drug Spending in Context

Posted by Lori Reilly on April 14, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Last year was unique for our nation’s health care system. Nearly 10 million uninsured patients gained health insurance coverage – the largest gain in four decades -- and the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved a record of more than 40 new medicines. Given these historical milestones, an increase in the growth in spending on medicines last year was to be expected. Even so, that rise should not overshadow the fact that spending on retail prescription medicines have consistently accounted for just 10 percent of U.S. health care spending – a figure that is projected by government actuaries to remain stable through the next decade.

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Topics: IMS Institute

Medicare Monday: How Part D Helps Parkinson’s Patients

Posted by Allyson Funk on April 13, 2015 at 9:52 AM

We often talk about the importance of adherence on The Catalyst, but it’s a topic that isn’t widely understood. Consider this: when patients prematurely discontinue their medication, it costs the U.S. economy an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion annually. One of the things that makes the Medicare Part D program so valuable to patients and the broader health care ecosystem is that it encourages adherence by helping individuals get the medicines they need.

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Topics: Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, Parkinson's, #Adherence123s

Week in Review: The Latest from PhRMA

Posted by Mollymae Metheny on April 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The reality of prescription drug spending in Medicaid, more than 240 Medicines in Development to treat blood cancers, PPA celebrates its 10th anniversary, look at a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and more

Reality of Prescription Drug Spending in Medicaid – Recent rhetoric on spending in state Medicaid programs often overstates the cost impact of prescription medicines and ignores the competitive biopharmaceutical market that exists in the U.S., which can generate significant savings for Medicaid programs. Read more about spending on medicines in Medicaid here

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Topics: Medicines in Development, adherence, Access Better Coverage, Medicaid, PPA

PhRMA & LLS: More than 240 Medicines in Development for Blood Cancers

Posted by Tina Stow on April 10, 2015 at 7:30 AM

It’s hard to believe, but – this year alone – more than 162,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Fortunately, science has advanced quickly in recent years, opening doors for more precise treatments for more patients. This progress is certainly encouraging, but more work remains to find effective, targeted medicines for all patients impacted by blood cancer.

According to a new report from PhRMA and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), biopharmaceutical companies – working alongside nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, government researchers and other partners – currently have more than 240 new medicines in every phase of development to treat blood cancers. A breakdown of these investigational medicines is captured in the infographic below:

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Topics: Medicines in Development, cancer, Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, LLS

The Reality of Prescription Drug Spending in Medicaid

Posted by Robert Zirkelbach on April 9, 2015 at 5:51 PM

Recent rhetoric on spending in state Medicaid programs often overstates the cost impact of prescription medicines and ignores the competitive biopharmaceutical market that exists in the U.S., which can generate significant savings for Medicaid programs.

Prescription medicines account for just 4-5 percent of total Medicaid spending and this share is projected to remain stable through the next decade, even as important advances, such as those made against hepatitis C continue. That’s because competition among brand-name medicines and aggressive tactics by insurers to negotiate prices all help to keep costs under control.

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Topics: Hepatitis C, Medicaid

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