Drugmakers got good news about Medicare drug prices two years out, at least kind of. The good news is that the dreaded Independent Payment Advisory Board will not be in play for 2015 drug prices.
U.S. Sen. Clair McCaskill claims that companies selling diabetic testing, sleep apnea testing and other durable medical equipment are using misleading and possibly fraudulent sales tactics that end up costing Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars annually.
Democratic lawmakers in both houses of Congress are backing a new bill extending Medicaid-style rebates to low-income Medicare patients, saying the provision would save $141.2 billion.
Amgen has inked another marketing settlement with the U.S. government. The biotech giant agreed to pay $24.9 million to wrap up allegations that it used kickbacks to induce long-term care pharmacies to use more of its Aranesp anemia drug--and not only for patients with anemia caused by chronic kidney failure, the drug's officially approved use.
Quest Diagnostics watched its net income drop in its fiscal 2013 first quarter. The company said it expected some softness in the first half of 2013 anyway, due to reimbursement declines from both Medicare and private payers, overall market condition and restructuring costs.
The ruling not only opens GSK to the Humana suit, which applies to its Medicare Advantage plans, but also to potential lawsuits from other insurers.
President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal 2014 budget is already drawing strong opposition from the med tech industry. Among the points of conflict: proposed payment reductions for clinical lab services and durable medical equipment in Medicaid, and a possible prior authorization requirement for advanced imaging of Medicare patients.
Medicare Part D keeps patients on their meds. That's the upside of a new study that shows U.S. adults are still skipping doses to save money. And patients who don't yet qualify for Medicare are twice as likely to skip as Medicare beneficiaries.
Another budget discussion, another threat of Medicare Part D cuts. With President Obama's budget proposals set for unveiling on Wednesday, word is that the so-called dual eligibles would fall under Medicaid drug-pricing rules, cutting pharma's Medicare revenues.
Transparency may be a trendy topic in pharma these days. But while drugmakers have been opening their files on financial relationships with doctors--even edging toward sharing trial data--they haven't said much about proprietary pricing info. Discounts and rebates tend to be closely guarded.