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Caduet: Don’t Believe the Hype

Did you know: Caduet is Lipitor + Norvasc. 30 tabs of Caduet (now generic) retails at $160 per month or $1920 per year. Consider substituting Simvastatin (atorvastatin) + amlodipine. The combination costs just $10 per month for both ($120 per year) at either Sam's...

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Are PBMs Fueling the Opioid Crisis?

“At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access…

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Up is Down and Generics are Fair Game

August 6, 2017 – Out of public view, corporations are cutting deals that give consumers little choice but to buy brand name drugs - and sometimes pay more than they would for generics. The standard advice for consumers – “Always ask if there is a cheaper generic!” –...

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PCSK9 Inhibitors | Worth It? For Whom?

June 19, 2017 – Big Pharma, insurers, and doctors engage debate over efficacy and cost; meanwhile, patients struggle to access to an expensive new class of cholesterol drugs. Sumathi Reddy writing in the The Wall Street Journal offers a fascinating look at the tangled...

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FEUD! Big Pharma vs. Your PBM

May 31, 2017 – In a lawsuit that highlights the dangers of rising drug costs, PMBs and drugmakers reveal the games the games they play. In the midst of an opioid crisis that has become an epidemic, Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, a small private drugmaker, last year rasied the...

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EpiPen Price Gouging No Better

June 6, 2017 – A year ago, consumers and congressmen alike were shocked when Mylan raised the price of its EpiPen by 574%. Nothing has changed in the year since. The EpiPen has been around for decades—the device, known as an autoinjector was acquired by Mylan...

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Big Pharma Loves to Create Drama

May 18, 2017 – The FDA regulates direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceutical products, but it does not regulate “Disease Awareness” marketing on TV. One of the main characters in the daytime drama, General Hospital, has been battling polycythemia vera (PV), an...

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A 75% Markup for Being American

December 24, 2016 – America has always been known as “The Land of Opportunity.” New data shows that this is especially true for drug makers internationally. Large PBMs, such as CVS Caremark and Express Scripts are dropping lots of medications from their formularies in...

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Specialty Pharma Takes a Hit

December 22, 2016 – Analysts expect more uncertainty following a year in which the Martin Shkreli, Epipen, and Valeant scandals battered specialty pharma stocks. Analysts at Morgan Stanley have identified multiple factors that should concern investors as they assess...

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Drugmakers Eating Costs? (Fat Chance)

December 12, 2016 - The latest pay-for-performance arrangements between Big Pharma and PBMs are tied to exclusive or preferred-provider status. but how will they affect your employees? A new type of pay-for-performance agreement (what a notion!) has insurers and...

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When the Generic Is a Rip-Off Too

December 9, 2016 - One of the most notorious price-gouging schemes in recent years involves a 200 year old drug. Thanks to the good-old FDA, the price increased 5000% overnight. Doctors have been prescribing Colchicine for over 200 years. It’s made from a poisonous,...

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Drug Costs Will Keep Rising in 2017

April 28, 2015 – Congress is likely to do little or nothing to curtail or rollback prescription price increases that are far outpacing inflation. Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts, in a commentary for Fortune magazine, made 10 healthcare predictions for the year ahead....

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Doctors, Patients, and Smartphone Apps

With the price of prescription drugs skyrocketing, more and more doctors are wondering, "How much will the drugs I’m prescribing end up costing the patient?" According to Truveris data, over the last five years, patient copays have increased over 90%, and they...

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New Deals Tie Drug Prices to Outcomes

May 11, 2016 – “Value-backed” deals are becoming more common as Cigna announces contracts that tie the cost of two new cholesterol drugs to how well they work. Following the announcement by Cigna Corp., Peter Loftus and Anna Wilde Mathews, writing for the Wall Street...

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FACT SHEET! – Rising Drug Costs

April 25, 2016 – Non-partisan Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) new factsheet paints an alarming portrait of skyrocketing drug prices in the United States. “Drug prices in the United States are too high and continue to skyrocket.” So begins a fact sheet...

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The Health Transformation Alliance

February 4, 2016 – A new alliance of big companies plan to share information about employee health spending and outcomes, with an eye to changing the game. Executives from twenty major employers—companies like American Express, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar, IBM,...

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Even Insured Americans Are Struggling

January 5, 2016 – The Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times survey provides an in depth look at the experiences of Americans who have problems paying medical bills. For the uninsured, lack of coverage can limit access to care and leave them vulnerable to exorbitant...

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Drug Prices Jump 3.8% in Q1

April 28, 2015 – According to the Truveris National Drug Index, prices for branded, specialty, and generic drugs rose a combined 3.8% in the first quarter of 2015. Analyzed by category, branded drug prices jumped 5.7%, specialty drugs rose 2.5% and generic drugs...

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Phone Calls Reduce Hospitalizations

April 11, 2014 - Purdue University study suggests that telephonic medication therapy management (MTM) can benefit lower risk Medicare patients following a hospitalization. A new study revealed that low-risk Medicare patients entering home healthcare and receiving...

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New Treatment Guidelines Factor Cost

April 17, 2014 - As prescription drug costs continue to rise, doctors are rewriting their clinical guidelines. Does taking cost into consideration necessarily lead to rationing? Andrew Pollack, writing in The New York Times, identifies a controversial shift in...

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