Login

Forgot password?
Sign up today and your first download is free.
REGISTER

Rx Drugs

June 05, 2003 | Daily News

CMS yesterday told House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) that his Medicare reform proposal would lead nearly half of Medicare beneficiaries to switch to private plans, as premiums for those plans are lowered and the government takes up an increased share of plan costs. As a result Medicare costs would increase "significantly," CMA told the lawmaker.

June 05, 2003 | Daily News

A splinter group of House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans has revised its Medicare prescription drug plan to lower its Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score to $380 billion and to allay pharmaceutical manufacturers' complaints that a government-run benefit could lead to price controls on drugs, House aides say. The group has revised the subsidy rates for the catastrophic premiums to lower the plan's overall costs and turned to private insurers for catastrophic coverage to appease drug makers, the aides say.

June 05, 2003 | Daily News

As a GOP splinter group has begun finalizing its Medicare prescription drug proposal, Republican House leaders are leaving it up to the two committees considering radically different proposals to work out their differences.

But Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) appears to be moving ahead with his own Medicare plan, leaving it up to Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) to deal with the splinter group, sources said.

June 05, 2003 | Daily News

In a major development, the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee have crafted a bipartisan agreement on Medicare reform, striking a deal that could significantly enhance the likelihood of the Senate passing reform legislation this year. The deal ensures that all Medicare beneficiaries will have access to the same prescription drug benefit, regardless of whether they choose to stay in traditional fee-for-service Medicare or opt in to a new enhanced Medicare structure run by private plans.

June 04, 2003 | Daily News

Senate health committee chair Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) have reached agreement on a new proposal that would reform drug patent law in an effort to speed generic drugs to market, according to industry and congressional sources. The Senate health panel next Wednesday (June 11) will mark up the legislative proposal, which attempts to address some of the objections the pharmaceutical industry raised to an earlier version of the bill passed by the Senate last year.

June 04, 2003 | Daily News

The pharmaceutical industry has lost its bid for the Supreme Court to review a Florida Medicaid "prior authorization" program for prescription drugs that the industry charges violates federal Medicaid law. A pharmaceutical industry win at the Supreme Court level would have impeded efforts by Florida's health care agency to force drug companies to provide discounts to Medicaid patients or get prior state authorization before such drugs could be prescribed under Medicaid.

June 03, 2003 | Daily News

Key Senate Finance Committee members have informally agreed on a Medicare bill that would give fee-for-service beneficiaries the same drug benefit granted to those that switch to a new private insurance option, taking a tack that appears to be winning over centrist members but alienating more conservative Republicans who wanted stronger incentives for joining private plans.

June 03, 2003 | Daily News

CMS data show that Medicare payment for Procrit jumped from $380 million in 1999 to over $700 million in 2001, giving it the highest share of Medicare drug spending.

May 29, 2003 | Daily News

FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan says drug "reimportation" may be possible once FDA has a system that can track drugs throughout the Canadian distribution chain -- but an FDA source says it will be three-to-five years before such a system could be finished. FDA and pharmacy sources say the agency still opposes reimportation, and McClellan discussed the "technology" needed for reimportation to avert having to argue a position counter to that of most in the audience, according to sources.

May 29, 2003 | Daily News

FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan is assuring a Senate lawmaker that a Feb. 12 letter outlining the agency's legal argument against commercial imports of Canadian drugs does not prevent insurance companies from covering drugs brought from Canada by individuals for their personal use.

The agency has historically allowed individuals to buy prescription drugs from Canada for personal use, McClellan said. The commissioner was responding to Sen. Byron Dorgan's (D-ND) questions on Canadian drug imports at the Senate agriculture subcommittee's hearing on FDA funding for fiscal year 2004.

May 28, 2003 | Daily News

The Bush administration projects that private insurance plans will again yield greater cost savings than Medicare as they did in the mid-1990s, an argument it hopes will persuade lawmakers to adopt its proposal to set up a new Medicare option under private preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

But a leading healthcare economist disputes that there is likely to be a return of the factors that a decade ago led private health management organizations to control costs better than fee-for-service Medicare.

May 28, 2003 | Daily News

As the nation's states continue to battle budget deficits, Illinois state lawmakers have adopted a new approach to curbing escalating prescription drug costs by pooling the purchasing power of Medicaid and other state agencies as well as a new drug discount program for Medicare-eligible residents. The proposal, which is soon to be signed into law, is a new development in the states' cost-cutting efforts and may serve as a blueprint for future state action.

May 28, 2003 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson has cleared the way for the expansion of the nation's first multi-state Medicaid prescription drug purchasing program by temporarily agreeing to let states take part by piggy-backing on Michigan's existing pharmacy benefit contract, according to state sources.

May 27, 2003 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Republicans are looking to entice insurers to provide both a Medicare drug benefit and comprehensive Medicare coverage by having the government assume the bulk of the risk if costs exceed projections and by removing a cap in last year's tripartisan bill that held the government share of aggregate drug costs at 75 percent, according to a committee aide.

May 27, 2003 | Daily News

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) may seek legislation to establish a pathway for follow-on versions of biologics licensed under the Public Health Service (PHS) Act once Hatch-Waxman reform is out of the way, according to the group's president.

GPhA has stressed in the past that when it advocates for generic biologics, it is not arguing that there should be no clinical studies. The group has said it supports an abbreviated pathway with the "clinical component" to be determined based on the complexity of the particular product.

May 27, 2003 | Daily News

The chairman of Pfizer has sent a letter to the House committees charged with drafting a Medicare drug benefit asking for a series of safeguards to ensure that the formularies used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) expected to run the plan do not exclude drugs and allow for adequate remuneration, according to informed sources.

May 23, 2003 | Daily News

FDA has sent the much-anticipated final generic drug reform rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, according to OMB's website. Although it is unclear how FDA wrote the final rule, the core provision in the proposed rule called for allowing only one 30-month stay per generic drug application.

May 22, 2003 | Daily News

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is actively looking to file suit against CMS over its Medicare reimbursement policies for new biological drugs, but has put the suit on hold, possibly until July, industry sources said.

The decision to put the suit on hold follows consultations with member companies, who expressed different opinions on the timing and prospects of the suit.

May 22, 2003 | Daily News

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) is seeking to keep a lid on industry dissent when he revives last year's House Medicare prescription drug plan, telling industry representatives their complaints can be addressed in the Senate or during a conference to reconcile different drug plans passed by the two chambers, industry sources said.

May 20, 2003 | Daily News

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is concerned that the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is raising a red flag on research grants that originate through company sales or marketing activities. The warning is included in the OIG's new compliance policy guidelines covering the pharmaceutical industry.

While PhRMA is still in the process of reviewing new parts of the guidance document, a PhRMA spokesperson said a section on educational grants is one "area of concern." PhRMA indicated that it might comment on the guidelines in the future.

Pages