RADAR on Specialty Pharmacy

News Briefs

✦ Over the past five years, biosimilars created competition that resulted in savings of $9.8 billion. That’s according to Amgen Inc.’s 2021 Biosimilar Trends Report, its eighth edition. The therapies also have the potential to save people out-of-pocket costs of $238 million in the nine classes in which the agents have been approved. The drugs are launching with wholesale acquisition costs that are generally between 15% and 37% less than those of their reference products.

Anthem Launches Voluntary Oncology Dose Reduction Program

As payers continue to search for ways to reduce their drug spend, one health plan recently rolled out a dose reduction program for some oncology therapies. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is asking providers in ce...

Legislation Seeks to Change Medicare Home Infusion Policies

Bipartisan groups in both the Senate and the House have introduced bills aimed at changing the way the professional services benefit for Medicare Part B home infusion therapies is implemented. The current situation,...

Specialty Trend Increase Slows; Biosimilars Are Having Impact

In 2020, specialty trend — which consists of utilization and cost trend components — continued to increase, but it did so at a slower pace than that of the past five years. That’s one of the findings of Pharma...

Another Immunotherapy Indication Will Be Withdrawn

The seventh indication since late December for an immunotherapy is being withdrawn from the U.S. market. All of the indications were granted through accelerated approval. All of the affected therapies have other FDA...

Padcev Approval Gives Another Option to Treat Bladder Cancer

The FDA recently expanded the indication of a drug for certain types of urothelial cancer, the most common form of bladder cancer. Payers and oncologists appear to be divided, however, on the drug’s place in a tre...

New FDA Specialty Approvals

✦ July 30: The FDA granted premarket approval to Pillar Biosciences, Inc.’s ONCO/Reveal Dx Lung and Colon Cancer Assay as a companion diagnostic for all FDA-approved epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kin...

News Briefs

✦ The FDA is requiring revisions to the labels of Pfizer Inc.’s Xeljanz/Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib), Eli Lilly and Co.’s Olumiant (baricitinib) and AbbVie Inc.’s Rinvoq (upadacitinib) following the agency’s r...

What Might Be Impact of First Interchangeable Biosimilar?

More than 10 years after the passage of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA) as part of the Affordable Care Act, the FDA finally has approved the first interchangeable biosimilar. But w...

FDA Approval Gives Third Option to Treat Rare, Deadly Disease

The FDA recently approved a third agent to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). With some conditions, that number of treatments may prompt payer preferencing, but that is unlikely to happen with this ult...