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April 29, 2016

Today's Featured Story

Late-Stage Drug Pipeline Holds Hope for Alzheimer’s Treatments
Reprinted from Drug Benefit News

Alzheimer’s disease is ranked as one of the leading causes of death, and with a huge older U.S. population, incidence of the disease is only expected to rise. Innovation has not kept pace — but after a decade when Alzheimer’s drug development saw almost a 100% failure rate, there are now multiple drugs in late-stage clinical trials that could hit the market as early as 2018. Now the question is whether the U.S. health care system is prepared to put these innovative new treatments into practice.... Read Full Story


Quote of the Day

The impact of CMS’s recent final Medicare Advantage (MA) payment notice and Call Letter “depends on the composition of your membership. This is a hit of probably somewhere between 2.5% and 4% to plans that have a lot of group retirees [Employer Group Waiver Plans, or EGWPs]. Remember, 19% of MA is in group, and so the EGWP provision really is a big change and I think a lot of the folks in the [Obama] administration viewed that as some corporate welfare that they wanted to start whittling away at.... The risk adjustment piece could be a minor headwind as the plans shift to more encounter data, which is ultimately going to make the risk adjuster a lot more accurate. And by our read it’s a big boost for plans with large populations of low-income subsidy and fully dual-eligible beneficiaries.”

— John Gorman, founder and executive chairman of Gorman Health Group, told AIS’s Health Plan Week.

Click here to read the HEALTH PLAN WEEK article in which this quote appeared — "Health Plans’ Appetite for MA Will Continue Despite Mixed Reviews for Final ’17 Rates" (Free for HPW subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers)


Today's Datapoint

$670 ... will be the 2017 dollar-per-month threshold for Medicare Part D specialty drug tier placement, up from a $600 threshold that has been in place since 2008, CMS said in its 2017 Rate Announcement and Call Letter.



Today from Washington

People on the Move
Innophos Holdings, Inc. named Amy Hartzell vice president of supply chain and purchasing. She previously was global director of Dow Chemical Co.’s Corporate Supply Chain Center of Excellence....Eisai Co., Ltd., appointed Avinash Desai, M.D., vice president of Americas oncology medical affairs in its oncology business group of Eisai Inc. He most recently was global medical affairs leader in oncology for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc....Natural Partners, Inc. named President Fran Towey CEO, succeeding Tye Smith, who is continuing as chairman of the board....Kathleen Gogas, Ph.D., joined Symic as vice president of preclinical development. She previously was senior director of preclinical pharmacology at Nektar Therapeutics.

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