News Briefs

HHS has moved ahead with its plan to eliminate rebates to PBMs and plans in Medicare Part D. The administration issued a final rule (85 Fed. Reg. 76666, Nov. 30, 2020) providing safe harbor to rebates given to beneficiaries at the point of sale and to certain PBM service fees. The move follows a proposed rule initially released Jan. 31, 2019 (RSP 2/19, p. 1). The final rule pushed back the implementation date from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2022. View the rule at https://bit.ly/3gxs6Q3.

Specialty drugs represented 48.5% of net costs in Medicaid in 2019 but accounted for only 1.3% of utilization, according to Magellan Rx Management’s fifth annual Medicaid Pharmacy Trend Report. Specialty trend mainly was driven by net cost per claim, which rose from 2018 by $141.12, while specialty drug utilization declined 0.9%. The report projects that specialty drugs will make up half of overall Medicaid net spend in 2020. Download the report at https://bit.ly/3mZKkvR.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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