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ASCO Highlights New Drugs, ISPOR How They’ll Be Paid For

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012

  It was perhaps a sign of the changing — but not changed — times that last week’s ASCO meeting, highlighting the next-generation of promising new cancer drugs, overlapped almost perfectly with a gathering designed to help figure out how these new treatments will be paid for. ISPOR (the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) held its annual jamboree in Washington DC June 2-6, making it very tricky for any single person to understand both the clinical strengths of the latest cancer treatments, and how well those might sit with cost-pressured payers making tough coverage choices. The Real Endpoints team took a stab at it, though. Find out what we learned by joining our June 14 webinar, “Reimbursement Insights From ASCO: More Drugs Means More Cost Pressure”. As it happened (by design, we wonder?) the third plenary session at ISPOR on June 6 – a full 24 hours after the crowds had left ASCO – focused on performance-based risk sharing arrangements. These schemes – aiming to link the price of a treatment to the outcome it generates – are arguably most pertinent to expensive cancer drugs that don’t, sadly, work for all patients. Now sure, we know many pharma remain resistant to risk-sharing deals (why share risk unless...

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The Healthcare Round-Up: May 27 – June 1

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pick up your jumbo pack of toilet paper –and health insurance too. What started as a quiet partnership between club warehouse wholesaler Costco and insurance giant Aetna has now expanded to include relationships in nine states with two more pending approval.  Two years ago, the two joined forces to provide Costco Personal Health Insurance, a health insurance program that offers consumers five options in terms of medical and dental coverage.  Costco sees the tie-up as a means of both diversifying into new product areas and providing “value” to customers via access to a provider network of more than 500,000 primary care and specialty physicians, discounted pharmacy drugs, and online wellness tools and programs. (The other big box store making serious noise about moving into healthcare is Walmart.) For Aetna, the expansion of the partnership shows its commitment to the so-called retail insurance market. One of the underpinnings of the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate and creation of health insurance exchanges to provide consumers with medical benefits outside the confines of traditional employer-sponsored insurance. Many insurers believe that their future growth depends on enrollment in these exchanges; Aetna has been among the most aggressive in inking alliances or mergers that allow improved benefit designs for exchange users. And...

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