Member: RADAR on Drug Benefits

Experts: CMS Move to Cut Insulin Costs Has Limits

March 26, 2020

Recently, CMS unveiled a new program to reduce Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin (RDB 3/12/20, p. 8). The voluntary model aims to lower the cost of a 30-day supply to “no more than $35” and reduce annual insulin costs by an average of $446 per person. Industry experts say the program, called the Part D Senior Savings Model, should save patients money but will have a limited impact on overall drug spending.

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News Briefs

March 26, 2020

✦ President Donald Trump’s statements touting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as promising treatments for the new coronavirus has triggered hoarding of the drug and subsequent shortages, the New York Times reported. Those drugs, which have not been approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are typically used to treat malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. In response to the stockpiling of the drugs, states including Idaho, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas have all issued emergency restrictions or guidelines on how the drugs can be dispensed at pharmacies. Read more at https://nyti.ms/33MdDJu.

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Coronavirus Hasn’t Hurt Drug Supply, but That Could Change

March 12, 2020

Industry experts say the COVID-19 outbreak is unlikely to limit U.S. drug supplies in the short or middle term. However, they tell AIS Health that increased demand for longer-duration stocks of medication from self-isolating patients could strain supplies going forward.

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Plan Impact Is Unclear in New Call for Hepatitis C Screening

March 12, 2020

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has expanded its screening recommendation for hepatitis C virus (HCV), calling for all asymptomatic adults ages 18 through 79, including pregnant women, to be tested for the virus. That means all health plans must cover the expanded screening for free.

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With PBM Investment, Costco Makes Foray Into Health Care

March 12, 2020

On March 3, St. Louis, Mo.-based integrated health system SSM Health revealed that Costco Wholesale Corp. purchased a minority stake in Navitus Health Solutions, the health system’s PBM that includes specialty pharmacy subsidiary Lumicera Health Services.

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