News Briefs

Pfizer Inc. unveiled its launch strategy for three biosimilars. Zirabev (bevacizumab-bvzr) launched Dec. 31 at a wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of $61.343 per 10 mg, a 23% discount to that of reference drug Avastin (bevacizumab), from Genentech USA, Inc., a member of the Roche Group. Ruxience (rituximab-pvvr) launched Jan. 23 at a WAC of $71.68 per 10 mg, a 24% discount to the WAC of reference drug Rituxan (rituximab) from Genentech and Biogen. And Trazimera (trastuzumab-qyyp) will launch Feb. 15 with a WAC of $80.74 per 10 mg, a 22% discount to that of Genentech’s Herceptin (trastuzumab). View the press release at https://bit.ly/2RV1vll.

Infused oncology drug payments are almost two times more in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) than they are in physician offices (POs), according to an issue brief from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation. The analysis looked at 18,195 users of the top 37 infused cancer therapies for employment-based and commercially insured patients in 2016. Researchers found that those drugs cost 86.2% more on average per unit in the HOPD setting vs. PO, with HOPDs being reimbursed an average of $8,753 more per patient. The reimbursement difference, researchers found, was “primarily due to differences in prices rather than differences in treatment modality.” For more information, download the issue brief at https://bit.ly/2umwmyf.

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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