RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/21/2016
Today's Top Stories
Drug Makers Call for Incentives for New Antibiotics
Andrew Pollack, NYT
More than 80 pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies from around the world are calling for new economic models to spur development of badly needed new antibiotics and to fight the rising global threat of drug-resistant “superbugs.”
Drug Industry Boosts Lobbying Amid Pricing Scrutiny
Sullivan, The Hill
The pharmaceutical industry’s top trade group increased its lobbying spending in 2015 amid intensifying scrutiny of drug prices. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spent $18.32 million on lobbying in 2015, up from $16.51 million in 2014, according to disclosure records.
Express Scripts Sued By Compounders
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot
For the second time since Express Scripts began blocking coverage of hundreds of ingredients used to make compounded medicines, several compounding pharmacies have filed a lawsuit accusing the pharmacy benefits manager of using illegal tactics.
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to use their health benefits so they can get the right medication for them at the most affordable price. Learn more.
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What Would a United Exit Mean for Obamacare?
E. Court, Marketwatch
UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, has been vocal with its concerns about the profitability of Obamacare plans. In November, it warned it was considering exiting the exchanges after suffering significant losses on policies. Three months later, the policies continue to figure prominently in the company’s earnings. And while other insurers have left the marketplace, UnitedHealth would be the largest one to do so.
House Panel Raises Questions about MACPAC
Fawn Johnson, Morn. Cons.
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are questioning the selection process for members of the commission that recommends Medicaid policy to Congress. The lawmakers worry that there may be conflicts of interest on the panel of experts that is supposed to be independent.
State Prisons Turn to Telemedicine
Michael Ollove, Stateline
Most states have turned to telemedicine to some extent for treating prisoners — often in remote areas, where many prisons are located — because it allows doctors to examine them from a safe distance. It enables corrections officers keep potentially dangerous inmates behind bars for treatment rather than bearing the cost and security risk of transporting them to hospitals. And because more doctors are willing to participate, it makes health care more available for inmates.
Private Exchanges See Enrollment Bump
Bernie Monegain, HIT News
Thirty-five percent more people than last year have enrolled for their employer-sponsored healthcare benefits on private online marketplaces, according to a new report from global consulting and technology firm Accenture.
Journal Editors Call for Clinical Trial Data Sharing
Charles Piller, Stat
Editors from leading medical journals proposed expansive new data-sharing requirements Wednesday for authors writing about clinical experiments. The proposal, announced in an editorial jointly published by 14 journals in several nations, said researchers conducting human tests had “an ethical obligation” to trial subjects to report their data.
Muscular Dystrophy Drugs Face New Questions
Whalen & Marcus, WSJ
Hopes are dimming that the drug industry will be able to quickly deliver a treatment for one of the most keenly researched diseases of recent years—an inherited muscle-wasting disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
More Americans Are Living Past 100
Mary Brophy Marcus, CBS News
A new CDC report, which tracked mortality among 100-somethings starting in 2000, shows that while centenarians are still uncommon, the number of Americans above the age of 100 has increased more than 43 percent, from 50,281 a decade and a half ago to 72,197 in 2014.
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Making the most of your prescription drug benefits helps you get healthy faster and stay healthy longer, while keeping costs in check. Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to maximize their benefits so they can get the effective medicines they need at the most affordable price. Learn more.
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