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Coverage expansion, low cost growth, continued reform battles highlight 2014

By Harris Meyer  |  December 20, 2014

Healthcare providers and insurers were busy implementing healthcare reform in 2014, millions of uninsured Americans gained coverage, and healthcare spending growth remained modest even as partisan warfare over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continued in full force.

Pricey 'breakthrough' drugs confound Medicaid rate-setting

By Virgil Dickson  |  December 12, 2014

Actuaries say it's getting increasingly difficult to advise states on sound rates for Medicaid managed-care plans because high-priced specialty drugs like Sovaldi continue to hit the market at a rapid clip.

PCORI wades into effectiveness of controversial hepatitis drugs

PCORI wades into effectiveness of controversial hepatitis drugs

By Jaimy Lee  |  December 11, 2014

A not-for-profit organization created and funded by the healthcare reform law plans to spend up to $50 million on comparative effectiveness research for hepatitis C treatments just as the government is set to approve the third drug in a new breed of treatment regimens.

Antitrust suit accuses Sovaldi maker Gilead of price-gouging

By Lisa Schencker  |  December 10, 2014

Gilead Sciences' eye-popping $1,000-a-pill cost for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is illegal price-gouging with the potential to bankrupt parts of the healthcare industry, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.

The $2.6 billion pill

The $2.6 billion pill

By Merrill Goozner  |  November 29, 2014

That's the updated estimate of the cost to develop a new drug from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of corporate accounting knows the claim is bogus.

Hospitals take steps to control drug costs

Hospitals take steps to control drug costs

By Jaimy Lee  |  November 29, 2014

Hospitals traditionally have been less concerned with drug costs in the outpatient setting. But that's changing with the move away from fee-for-service payments and a broader push to improve value for patients.

Medicaid managers seek ways to pay for costly specialty drugs

Medicaid managers seek ways to pay for costly specialty drugs

By Virgil Dickson  |  October 25, 2014

Medicaid managed-care plan operators are looking for a way to pay for high-priced specialty drugs such as Sovaldi and Harvoni, the $1,000-per-pill treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat hepatitis C.

New hepatitis C drug costs nearly $100,000

By Paul Demko  |  October 11, 2014

A second potential blockbuster drug from Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C has been approved by the FDA. But at a cost of nearly $100,000 for a full course of treatment, it is certain to spark further debate over the pricing of specialty drugs.

State Medicaid directors balk at Sovaldi rebate offer

State Medicaid directors balk at Sovaldi rebate offer

By Virgil Dickson  |  October 02, 2014

Sovaldi-maker Gilead Sciences is making state Medicaid directors an offer they feel they must refuse, said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, who spoke Wednesday at a Medicaid conference sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans.

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