Member: RADAR on Drug Benefits

Is the Price Right for COVID-19 Treatment Remdesivir?

July 7, 2020

Since the first studies emerged suggesting Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s remdesivir was a promising treatment for COVID-19, speculation has abounded regarding what price the manufacturer would set for the antiviral drug. On June 29, Gilead ended that speculation by revealing that it will charge $2,340 for a typical five-day, six-vial treatment course for people covered by U.S. government health programs and $3,120 for those covered by private insurance.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA, but the agency did grant the infused drug an Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. It is being studied in multiple international trials; one U.S.-government led study found remdesivir shortened COVID-19 patients’ recovery time by 31%.

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CMS Proposes Best Price Waivers for Costly New Therapies

June 25, 2020

In an effort to boost adoption and lower costs for curative therapies, CMS proposed a new rule that the agency says would allow state Medicaid plans to enter into value-based, outcome-dependent purchasing agreements with drug manufacturers using a new interpretation of best price rules. The new rule also criticized insurers’ redirection of copay accumulators, a common arrangement between plans and patients to pay for expensive specialty drugs.

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Proteus Files for Bankruptcy Protection Amid Digital Pill Dispute

June 25, 2020

Proteus Digital Health, a startup that develops ingestible sensors that communicate when medicines are taken, on June 16 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move, which company executives said will pave the way for a sale, comes as smart pills struggle to get reimbursed amid financing policies that have hindered widespread uptake, despite the technology’s potential to improve adherence and overall health outcomes.

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Prime Therapeutics Reports Modest Drug Trend Increases

June 25, 2020

by Jinghong Chen Prime Therapeutics LLC’s 2019 drug trend report showed single-digit increases for its commercial and Medicare Part D lines of business. Medicaid trend increased 10.2%, with utilization of specialty drugs remaining the largest driver of trend. In all lines of business, utilization of traditional drugs increased at a typical rate of 0.5% to […]

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FDA OK’s IL-17As for nr-axSpA, But Few See Changes Ahead

With Chart: Current Market Access to Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications

June 25, 2020

The FDA’s approvals of two interleukin-17A (IL-17A) antagonists to treat active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) give providers new options for patients who are intolerant of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and other therapies.

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