Monday, August 30, 2010

HealthSpring becomes 7th largest Medicare Advantage plan provider

Ritter Insurance Marketing has news that HealthSpring has purchased Bravo Health to add 100,000 members to their Medicare Advantage coverage. This will make them the seventh largets Medicare Advantage provider with 397,000 members. The company primarily covers markets in Texas and Philadelphia.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seniors will see a gap closing in the doughnut hole

The Seattle Times notes that seniors will see a slight increase in premiums for their Medicare Drug Plans. Even though the costs will be increasing, seniors will see the improvements in their plans by the beginning of the closing of the doughnut hole.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some physicians leaving Medicare due to costs

Many doctors are leaving Medicare, while many others have stopped accepting new Medicare patients reports WRAL of Raleigh, North Carolina. In North Carolina, 80 physicians have opted out of Medicare in the last year. Many cite the fact that while the cost of treating patients has gone up, the government has failed to increase the rates at which they reimburse the doctors.

One doctor, Dr. Conrad Flick, a partner in Family Medical Associates and a board member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, stated,"The payment from Medicare for our services is less than it costs us to provide those services. Our job is to take care of patients, which is what we love, but if we can't run our business, we can't take care of any patients."

Monday, August 23, 2010

What effect will Avastin's fate have on healthcare?

The Daily Telegraph in the UK has the latest on the vote from the FDA Advisory Panel to drop Avastin as an endorsed treatment for breast cancer patients. The drug prevented blood flow to the tumors, extending the amount of time before the disease worsened. However, now that the FDA Advisory Panel has dropped their endorsement because the drug may only extend lives by a month, possibly even less, US Insurers could possibly stop covering the drug in their health plans. They cited "cost effectiveness" was the reason their endorsement was dropped.

What are the long term effects this will have on healthcare coverage in the United States? What kind of implications could "Cost Effectiveness" have on future drugs and their coverage on healthcare plans?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pharma and Health Plan executives debate criteria for formulary placement and reimbursement

IIR’s 2nd Annual Value-Driven Pharma event is the only conference that delivers the tools and the know how pharmaceutical executives need to meet payers increasingly strict criteria for coverage and reimbursement. No other managed market event offers wider accents to industry experts and solutions.

Obtain the tools to deliver solid economic health data applicable to real-world needs and decisions faced by patients, clinicians, and payers necessary to obtain formulary placement.

Respond to the shifting payer mix and optimize your formulary and reimbursement strategy to ensure you reap the benefits of increased prescription volumes.

This is the last week to save, so register now for Value-Driven Pharma to navigate the changing reimbursement paradigm to ensure your product’s value is undisputable.

We know that budgets are tight and it can be difficult to get time away from the office – however, we continue to hear from the industry that it is more important than ever to gain insights from industry thought leaders speaking at Value- Driven Pharma.
To learn more about this year’s agenda and impressive speaker line-up, download the brochure or visit our website. We are confident that once you do, you and your team will discover that Value-Driven Pharma is a can’t-miss event for 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MDRP 2010: Attending Companies to Date

Who is scheduled to attend this year's MDRP Summit? Join us and these companies September 15-17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois!

* 3 Rivers Pharmaceuticals * 340B Prime Vendor Program * Abbott Laboratories * Abbott Labs * Actavis * Afaxys Inc * Alabama Medicaid Agency * Alcon Laboratories * Alexion Pharmaceuticals * Allergan * Alvogen Inc * AMAG Pharmecueticals * American Pharmaceutical Association * AmerisourceBergen Speciality Group * Amgen Inc * Amneal Pharmaceuticals * Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc * Apotex Corporation * APP Pharmaceuticals LLC a Fresenius Kabi Company * Astellas Pharma US * AstraZeneca * Aurobindo Pharma USA * Auxilium Pharmaceuticals * Axiom Resource Management & Tricare * B Braun Medical Inc * Baxter Healthcare Corporation * Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals * Becton Dickinson & Company * Becton Dickinson Medical - Diabetes Care * Biogen Idec * Biotest Pharmaceuticals Corporation * Biovail Pharmaceuticals * Boehringer Ingelheim * Brookings Institution * Cangene BioPharma * Celgene Corporation * Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services * Centocor Ortho Biotech * Cephalon * Cephalon Inc * CMS * Compliance Implementation Services LLC * Cornerstone Biopharma Inc * County Line Pharmacueticals * Covidien * Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc * Daiichi Sankyo Inc * Data Niche Associates * DDN Propelling Life Science * Department of Health & Human Services * Department of Veterans Affairs * Dey Pharma LP * Dr Reddys Laboratories Inc * Drug Discount Monitor * EDS North Carolina Medicaid * EISAI Corporation of North America * Elan Pharmaceuticals * Eli Lilly & Company * EMD Serono * Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc * Epstein Becker & Green * Faulkner Mackie & Cochran PC * Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc * Forest Laboratories Inc * Galderma Laboratories * Genzyme Corporation * Georgia Department of Community Health * Gilead Sciences Inc * GlaxoSmithKline * Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc USA * Global Environment Research Pvt Ltd * Gold Standard Inc * Graceway Pharmaceuticals * Grifols Inc * Health Resources & Services Administration * Healthpoint Solutions * Medical Affairs * Hear With Us LLC * HHS * Hogan Lovells US LLP * Hospira Inc * Human Genome Sciences Inc * I Many * ICS * Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services * I-many Inc * Impax Laboratories Inc * IMS Health * Intendis * Ipsen * Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc * JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC * Johnson & Johnson * KPMG LLP * Kremers Urban * LEO Pharma Inc * McKesson Packaging Services * Meda Pharmaceuticals * Medco * Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation * MedImmune Inc * Medimpact * Merck & Company Inc * MERZ Pharmaceuticals LLC * Midlothian Laboratories * Millenium Pharmaceuticals * Mission Pharmacal Company * MLEE Consulting * Model N * Molina Medicaid Solutions * Morton Grove * Pharmaceuticals Inc * National Association of Chain Drug Stores * Nautilus Neurosciences Inc * Navigant Consulting * Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation * Neurogesx Inc * New Jersey Divison of Medical Assistance & Health Services * Novartis Consumer Health * Novartis Pharmaceuticals * Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc * Nycomed US Inc * Octapharma * Office of Pharmacy Affairs HRSA * OIG Office of Audit Services * Oklahoma Health Care Authority * Ortho McNeil Neurologics * Paddock Laboratories Inc * Pamlab LLC * Par Pharmaceuticals Inc * Pedinol Pharmaceutical Inc * Perrigo Pharmaceuticals * Pfizer Inc * PhRMA * Plasma Protein Therapeutics Associates * Prasco * PriceWaterhouseCoopers * Proctor & Gamble * Purdue Pharma LP * Qualitest Pharmaceuticals * Ramie Zomisky * Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals * Rhodes Pharmaceuticals * Rivers Edge Pharmaceuticals * Rockford Health System * Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access * Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc * Sandoz Inc * Sanofi Aventis * Sepracor * Sepracor Inc * Shire Pharmaceuticals * Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc * Southeastern Consultants Inc * State of Illinois * Stiefel Laboratories Inc * SXC Health Solutions Inc * Talecris Biotherapeutics * UCB Pharma Inc * United Therapeutics Corporation * Upsher Smith Laboratories Inc * URL Pharma * US Attorney's Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania * Vaal Pamela * Value Options Inc * Ventiv Commercial Services * Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc * Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General * Victory Pharma * Vistex Inc * Watson Pharmaceuticals * Wockhardt MGP * World Gen LLC * X Gen Pharmaceuticals * Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals

Friday, August 13, 2010

Overspending on many drugs in Medicaid

I recently found the white paper Overspending on Multi-Source Drugs in Medicaid. It looks at 2009 Medicaid drug data that shows that in the case of multi-source drugs, there are often frequently more sales on the more costly brands.

According to the article at the American Enterprise Insitute: Because there is usually a large price differential between brand and generic drugs, a high generic substitution rate ensures cost-effectiveness in the Medicaid drug program without engaging in policies that affect clinical decisions.

Read the white paper here:

Doctors not taking full advantage of ePrescribing

A recent report at American Medical News looks how how few doctors are taking advantage of the unique features of ePrescribing. According to the article, only 65% are checking drug interactions of the drugs they prescribe, 54% are transmitting the prescriptions to pharmacies, and 34% are checking insurance formulary lists. Less than 25% of doctors are using all three features. What should the public focus on? Moving from the traditional prescribing system to the electronic system, or moving from traditional medical records to electronic medical records? What are some of the benefits you see when doctors achieve the use of both electronic medical records and ePrescibing?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

IIR Announces Healthcare Reform Forum Program, Dates and Locations

IIR's Reform Forum provides pharmaceutical manufacturers practical tools to remain competitive and compliant in this evolving era of healthcare. There are three meetings taking place, October 28 in Princeton, New Jersey; November 9 in Nashville, Tennessee; and November 11 in San Diego, CA.

Healthcare reform is having a profound impact on the way pharmaceutical manufacturers are running their businesses. Whether you are part of a start up pharmaceutical company, small biotech, or large branded manufacturer, you must identify and plan for the provisions that will make changes to your processes, systems, and documentation. Take part in this one day forum to understand the operational, technical, compliance, and industry perspectives of changing healthcare reform legislation on your business.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Missouri votes against part of health care reform

City Watch LA comments on the vote Missourians made to reject part of Obama's health care reform. Citizens of Missouri voted to reject the federal law which mandates insurance and to reject penalties against citizens who chose to pay their own medical bills. The New York Times also featured an article about this last week.

According to City Watch LA, Missouri State Senator, James Lembke, stated , “Prop C is not about healthcare. A big victory is about freedom, liberty and state sovereignty! It's time to stand up against federal tyranny.”

What do you think? Do states have the right to reject the federal law on this issue? While the government is offering national health care, should all citizens be required to have it?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Medicare funds should be extended

With Obama's health care reform, experts believe that Medicare will remain stable for until at least 2029. This is 12 years longer than expected. Both Medicare and Social Security are facing financial depletion, as both the population and health care costs are on the rise. The New York Times also looks at the extended life that Social Security and Medicare will receive according to the latest projections.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

White Paper: Pharmaceutical Marketing in Perspective Its Value and Role as One of Many Factors Informing Prescribing

I recently came across the white paper Pharmaceutical Marketing in Perspective: Its Value and Role as One of Many Factors Informing Prescribing. Phrma provides a white paper htrat look at how Pharma companies need to provide information about their drugs to healthcare professionals and insurance companies. Direct communication between the two is important because it allows those who are prescribing the medications have the most up to date information on the drugs that are available to their patients. Read the full white paper here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ePrescribing among physicians is limited

At Health Systems Change, they look at the slow pace at which physicians are adopting electronic medical records. The Government is placing an emphasis on this because not only does it improve patient safety but it will also help to slow the growth of healthcare spending. It also points out that starting in 2011, physicians who "demonstrate meaningful use of electronic medical records" will receive larger incentives from Medicaid and/or Medicare.

What do you think will help doctors finally achieve the goal of electronic medical records?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Obama administration sees savings in healthcare now

According to the Associated Press, the Obama Administration will see $8 billion in savings by the end 0f 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Over the next ten years, spending will only increase by 5.3%, while savings will come from cuts in hospital payments, improving quality and combating fraud. This comes the same week as Social Security and Medicare from the program's trustees are expected to meet for their annual financial checkup.