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Wall Street Analysts Are Mostly Bullish on 2020 Outlook for MCOs

January 13, 2020

Analysts from major financial institutions are cautiously optimistic about the value of managed care organization stocks during 2020, citing a more stable regulatory environment and rising revenues across the industry.

Over 2018 and 2019, markets were skeptical of MCOs’ value due to regulatory turbulence in the form of attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act, according to a Jefferies report by analysts David Windley and David Styblo.

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News Briefs

January 13, 2020

✦ Startup health care company Bright Health said Jan. 8 that it signed an agreement to acquire the California-based, family-owned health plan Universal Care, which is doing business as Brand New Day. Brand New Day, which was founded in 1983, aims to improve health outcomes among vulnerable populations with complex health conditions by focusing on care management and patient-primary care relationships, according to a release from the companies. The transaction still requires regulatory approval and is expected to close this year; the companies did not disclose the dollar amount of the deal. Bright Health sells plans in the individual and Medicare Advantage markets in 12 states.

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2020 Outlook: ‘Wild Year’ Is Expected for Large, Consolidated PBMs

January 9, 2020

Though the two major transactions that upended the PBM landscape — Cigna Corp. buying Express Scripts Holding Co. and CVS Health Corp. acquiring Aetna Inc. — have already taken place, that doesn’t mean the sector won’t see more changes this year, industry experts tell AIS Health. Not only will those companies be tasked with proving that their vertical combinations can deliver significant value, but they will have to feed the market’s appetite for innovation while differentiating their unique business models from competitors.

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2020 Outlook: State Lawmakers Tee Up Bills on PBMs, Drug Pricing This Year

January 9, 2020

State lawmakers will continue to focus on the cost of prescription drugs as the 2020 legislative season gets underway, potentially advancing measures to require the disclosure of manufacturer drug pricing information and bills to limit or eliminate the role PBMs play in state Medicaid programs.

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Nearly 500 Medications See Price Hikes in New Year

January 9, 2020

by Jinghong Chen
After only one week into the new year, drug manufacturers have raised the list prices of almost 500 medications. On average, prices on 491 drugs have increased 5.2%, according to GoodRx, a company that tracks the cost of more than 3,000 medications. Neos Therapeutics, Inc.’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment, Cotempla XR, saw a price jump of 13.2%, the largest increase so far in 2020. Merck & Co., Novartis International AG and Allergan plc are among the companies that raised prices on several of their products, Reuters reports, citing a 3 Axis Advisors analysis. Novartis increased prices on nearly 30 drugs, including one of the most commonly prescribed medications, Cosentyx, which treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Pfizer Inc.’s Diazepam, a treatment for anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and muscle spasms, saw a price increase of 7.8%.

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