Radar on Drug Benefits

Insurers Enact Policies to Ease Access to Prescription Drugs

According to a list compiled by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), payers have made a variety of changes to their prescription drug benefits as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ✦ Payers ...
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Even Amid Crisis, Congress Could Take Up Part D Reform

With the federal government consumed by responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, the possibility of Congress passing drug-pricing legislation — once a top priority for the Trump administration — might seem dim. But ...
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For Bipolar Disorder, Plans Prefer Generics Over Vraylar

A recently approved brand drug for bipolar disorder will have little impact on how health plans cover these medications, experts say. Health plans will continue to encourage the use of less expensive generic bipolar...
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Pharma Companies Race to Tackle COVID-19

Since the novel coronavirus started to spread globally, a mix of legacy pharmaceutical companies and small startups have been scrambling to develop a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the viru...
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Experts: CMS Move to Cut Insulin Costs Has Limits

Recently, CMS unveiled a new program to reduce Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin (RDB 3/12/20, p. 8). The voluntary model aims to lower the cost of a 30-day supply to “no more than $35” a...
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News Briefs

✦ President Donald Trump’s statements touting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as promising treatments for the new coronavirus has triggered hoarding of the drug and subsequent shortages, the New York Times re...
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Coronavirus Hasn’t Hurt Drug Supply, but That Could Change

Industry experts say the COVID-19 outbreak is unlikely to limit U.S. drug supplies in the short or middle term. However, they tell AIS Health that increased demand for longer-duration stocks of medication from self-...
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Plan Impact Is Unclear in New Call for Hepatitis C Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has expanded its screening recommendation for hepatitis C virus (HCV), calling for all asymptomatic adults ages 18 through 79, including pregnant women, to be tested ...
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With PBM Investment, Costco Makes Foray Into Health Care

On March 3, St. Louis, Mo.-based integrated health system SSM Health revealed that Costco Wholesale Corp. purchased a minority stake in Navitus Health Solutions, the health system’s PBM that includes specialty pha...
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Proposed Rule Reignites Fight Over Copay Accumulators

Health insurers are praising a provision in a recently proposed regulation that gives commercial plans greater leeway to run so-called copay accumulator programs, which prevent drug manufacturer coupons from countin...
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