Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, October 2017: FTC Workshop on PBMs, HDHPs, OOP Spending, Hospital Profits, and FDA Biosimilar Cartoons

Eeek! Time for my Halloween roundup of Drug Channels news stories. In this issue:
  • Spooktakular! An FTC competition workshop will include a terrifying panel on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)
  • Scary! The pros and cons of frightful high-deductible health plans
  • Creepy! JPMorgan Chase conjures up surprising new data on consumer out-pocket costs
  • Spooky! Ghastly hospital markups on outpatient drugs
Plus, the FDA treats us to a new educational campaign on biosimilar drugs—complete with groovy shareable GIFs for millennials.

P.S. For a daily haunting, join the zombie horde who shamble after me here: @DrugChannels on Twitter. (ICYMI: Over the past week, I have sent multiple tweets with my $0.02 on Amazon and CVS-Aetna.)

Understanding Competition in Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics, Federal Trade Commission

On November 8, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a public workshop on topics that are near and dear to hearts of Drug Channels readers. The keynotes will be given by Maureen K. Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the FTC, and Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Panel 1 will focus on generic drug competition. Panel 3 will focus on group purchasing organization (GPOs).

Check out the lineup for Panel 2: Understanding Intermediaries: Pharmacy Benefit Managers:
  • Rob Andrews, CEO, Health Transformation Alliance
  • Jennifer Bryant, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, PhRMA
  • Adam J. Fein, Ph.D., President, Pembroke Consulting, Inc. (Boo! That’s me.)
  • Mark Merritt, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
  • Susan Pilch, Vice President, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, National Community Pharmacy Association
  • Neeraj Sood, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Dean for Research, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
  • Panel Moderator: David R. Schmidt, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Office of Applied Research and Outreach, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission
The event is free and open to the public. You can submit comments to the FTC here. Attend for some wonktastic public policy fun! (Costumes optional.)

High-Deductible Health Plans Reduce Health Care Cost And Utilization, Including Use Of Needed Preventive Services, Health Affairs

The latest Health Affairs has a very useful literature review on High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). The good news: HDHPs lower health costs by reducing utilization. The bad news: Sometimes, valuable preventative services are used less frequently.

Here’s an informative summary chart:

[Click to Enlarge]


Paying Out-of-Pocket: The Healthcare Spending of 2 Million US Families , JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase examined healthcare spending using data from 2.3 million de-identified Chase customers aged 18 to 64 between 2013 and 2016. There’s loads of neat data in this free report.

One surprise: Payments to doctors’ offices, dental offices, and hospitals accounted for 55% of out-of-pocket healthcare spending in 2016. Per the chart below, drugs accounted for only 8% of out-pocket-spending.

[Click to Enlarge]

See the report’s appendix (page 30) for a comparison of the JPMorgan Chase data set to other sources.

Hospital Charges and Reimbursement for Drugs: Analysis of Markups Relative to Acquisition Cost, The Moran Company

The Moran Company analyzed hospital markups and margins for 20 outpatient drugs paid under the medical benefit. Hospitals’ reimbursement exceeded acquisition costs by 252% percent, on average. Yikes! (The methodology follows the approach that I use in Latest Data Show That Hospitals Are Still Specialty Drug Profiteers.) The report was commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Biosimilars, U.S. Food & Drug Administration

To help promote acceptance of biosimilars, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has created a set of what it calls “patient and prescriber outreach materials.” It has developed animated GIFS, prewritten tweets, and posts that you can share with your Facebook and LinkedIn friends. The FDA has also written these posts for your blog, too. Here’s one of the animated GIFs.

[Click to Enlarge]

Trick … or treat?

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