Since last August, when the Physician Payments Sunshine Act went into effect, drugmakers and devicemakers have been logging everything they've paid out to doctors. Now, it's finally time to report all those numbers to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Varian Medical Systems reported yesterday that revenues during its first fiscal quarter jumped 5% from the same period a year ago to $712 million, and net income rose 3% to $98 million. The company cited particularly strong demand for its oncology products, which include equipment for performing radiosurgery and software that physicians can use in treatment planning.
The regenerative medicine company Organogenesis is slashing jobs as part of its company-wide reorganization in the face of Medicare's decision to cut what it's paying for its wound-healing medicine Apligraf.
Medicare's decision to slash the cost of wound-care products is shoving the regenerative medicine company Organogenesis toward a major restructuring, with the CEO conceding to staffers that "heart breaking" cuts will be required to adjust to the new price schedule.
The Obama administration says Medicare drug discounts have saved U.S. recipients $8.9 billion so far in prescription drug costs. Of course, the more they save, the less drugmakers earn, since they are the ones having to pony up the discounts, which the Obama administration is looking to make even larger.
As the government searches for ways to limit Medicare spending, it may eye a new report that says in some regions, older patients don't get the drugs they need--and others are getting drugs that can be dangerous to their health. Prescription drug use among Medicare patients and spending by region is wildly inconsistent, it says, and in some cases, the health status of patients in the region has little to do with it.
The U.S. Department of Justice has turned its attention to a Kentucky hospital in its ongoing quest to crack down on the excessive use of cardiac stents. Depending on the outcome, the action could threaten the bottom line of stent manufacturers who are struggling with a stagnant market. Hospitals fearing federal scrutiny may reduce those procedures considerably.
Myriad Genetics' stock dropped 9% on Sept. 30, driven down by investors reacting to what appeared to be a proposed 48% Medicare reimbursement cut for one of the company's signature cancer diagnostic tests. The reduction turned out to be a bogus number generated by a clerical error.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' final decision on Eli Lilly's Alzheimer's imaging agent Amyvid, after appeals from Lilly and patient groups, is that Medicare won't pay for Amyvid-aided brain scans outside of clinical trials.
A bill reintroduced in the House of Representatives this week would, in part, modernize how Medicare reimburses medical diagnostic tests.