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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.

How healthcare's Washington lobbying machine gets the job done

How healthcare's Washington lobbying machine gets the job done

By Paul Demko  |  October 04, 2014

Providers, insurers, drug and device manufacturers, and the major trade associations are among the largest funders of the inside-the-Beltway influence industry. This year, they're on pace to spend nearly $500 million seeking to advance policies or avoid setbacks on issues crucial to their interests.

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.

Operating losses persist for Temple University Health System

By Bob Herman  |  September 26, 2014

Temple University Health System, a three-hospital academic medical center in northern Philadelphia, continues to lose money in its day-to-day operations, the result of lower-than-expected volumes and significant numbers of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

8% of patients stop taking Sovaldi, CVS study finds

8% of patients stop taking Sovaldi, CVS study finds

By Jaimy Lee  |  September 17, 2014

About 8% of the patients who started taking Sovaldi to treat hepatitis C discontinued their treatment regimen prior to its conclusion, according to an analysis released Wednesday by CVS Health. The findings raise questions about how effective the costly drug will be in a larger patient population...

Maker of hepatitis C drug strikes deal on generics for poor countries

By New York Times  |  September 15, 2014

Gilead Sciences, the maker of one of the costliest drugs in the world, announced on Monday that it had struck agreements with seven Indian generic-drug makers to sell lower-cost versions of the medicine—a $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment—in poorer countries.

IT entrepreneurs rush into healthcare, but will human touch be missing?

IT entrepreneurs rush into healthcare, but will human touch be missing?

By Darius Tahir  |  September 06, 2014

The vision of providing better, faster, cheaper and more consumer-friendly healthcare is shared by many digital health and telehealth startups. Still, shifting healthcare services to the digital realm involves new challenges in ensuring quality and appropriate utilization.

Generic drugs, low enrollment dampened Medicare Part D spending: CBO

Generic drugs, low enrollment dampened Medicare Part D spending: CBO

By Bob Herman  |  July 30, 2014

The cost of Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug program, has been far lower than originally predicted, new data from the Congressional Budget Office show. A massive slowdown in drug spending growth and low participation in the program have played the biggest roles.

Sovaldi likely to cost Medicare billions

Sovaldi likely to cost Medicare billions

By Virgil Dickson  |  July 29, 2014

The rising cost of hepatitis C drugs like Sovaldi and Olysio will increase Medicare Part D spending by $2.9 billion to $5.8 billion next year and could drive up premiums as much as 8.6%, according to a new report by the actuarial firm Milliman.

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