CEO Says 5,000% Drug Price Hike Not Excessive; Real People Offer Advice for Avoiding Unnecessary Care; MNsure Seeks Advisory Committee Members…
September 29, 2015
Consumer Reports has brand-new employee communications resources for your employees – and they’re evidence-based and complimentary. Healthy Choices offers advice about how to be a smart consumer in today’s health-care marketplace.
The tools help employees engage with their health-care providers, enabling them to choose the high-quality care they need while avoiding services they don’t.
Weekly Buzz: Consumer Reports Launches Platform to Share Real Patient Stories
Stories about real patients who are discovering how to avoid costly, and even harmful, medical care are now available from Consumer Reports and Choosing Wisely®. “We plan to continue gathering and sharing stories that inspire more patients to engage in conversations with their health care providers about which tests, treatments and procedures they do need – and which they don’t,” says Beccah Rothschild, senior outreach leader for Consumer Reports. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact Beccah at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out this form.
Pharmacy News of the Week
- Drug price increases 5,000 percent overnight. When Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the 62-year-old drug called Daraprim in August, the company raised the price of one pill from $13.50 to $750, at an average per-patient cost of $63,000 – up from $1,130. According to Turing CEO Martin Shkreli, the move is simply a smart business decision and “not excessive at all.”
- Realignment happening in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry. The PBM industry has been steadily changing amid health care payment reforms and politically charged debate over untenable drug prices. “Interest in acquiring PBMs has been rising along with the prices of brand-name and generic drugs. Choices about prescription drugs are critical to keeping patients healthy and reducing costs, so controlling a PBM could become an important component of a population-health strategy.”
- New drugs could revolutionize the battle against high cholesterol – at an enormous cost. A new class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors has entered the market. Instead of preventing the body from making more bad cholesterol, they help the liver flush it out. But some pharmacologists and health insurers aren’t excited about the prospect of these expensive alternatives, with a recent report suggesting the cost should be about 85 percent less than it currently is.
- Novo Nordisk prepares for largest drug launch to date. Shares in Novo Nordisk rose on Monday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the diabetes drug Tresiba late Friday, allowing the drugmaker to prepare its largest launch to date. Tresiba is sold in 30 countries, and analysts expect annual sales of $2.4 billion by 2020.
- As many as 35% adults have prediabetes, which means as many as 1.4 million adults in Minnesota may have it.
- Diabetes costs Minnesota $3.1 billion annually (2012 figure).
- People with prediabetes are at risk of type 2 diabetes; kidney failure; heart disease; stroke; and loss of toes, feet or legs.
- Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented!
Getting Started with Healthy Choices
It was a packed house as Action Group members gathered last week to discuss the business case for health management programs, and to hear National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) implementation case studies from the State of Minnesota (State Employer Group Insurance Program or SEGIP) and St. Louis County. SEGIP’s Beth Lundholm discussed her organization’s road to implementation and reported on early results, including the fact that participants have lost over 11 tons since April. Jim Gottschald of St. Louis County shared his organization’s complex adoption and implementation plan, as well as plans for the January 1, 2016, launch. Members may view the meeting presentations by clicking on the “See all presentations” tab in the right-hand column of the homepage.
MNsure Seeks Advisory Committee Member
MNSure has advisory committees that provide guidance, advice and recommendations to its board of directors. The organization has put out a call for applicants to fill open seats on the Consumer and Small Employer Advisory Committee and on the Health Industry Advisory Committee. Minnesotans interested in serving must submit a resume and a completed application by 5 p.m. on October 15, 2015. Click here for more information.
Thought for the Week
“While Praluent and Repatha (PCSK9 inhibitors) cut levels of bad cholesterol and may prevent heart attacks, the magnitude of their ability to extend healthy life doesn’t justify the cost on a per-patient basis. Even if only 25 percent of eligible patients took the drugs, some $100 billion would be added to U.S. health-care costs over five years at the prices set by the manufacturers.”
From the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) report on PCSK9s