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Issues Management Team

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August 14, 2017

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Categories: The Week That Was

The Week That Was: Crises in Communications

There’s an old industry myth that August is a slow news month. Not so much this August. As Pod Save America’s Jon Lovett and Jon Favreau put it so aptly on Monday, August is the time for “No news, until there is horrible news.” Cue some Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) speculation on Tuesday. While cable news erupted over the “fire and fury,” we kept our eyes on healthcare reporters, who are using this reform-free week to write about trends in generic drug prices and the opioid crisis as a state of emergency. With that, please enjoy The Week That Was. WSJ, NYT GO GENERIC THIS WEEK WITH ARTICLE SERIES It seems like top tier media decided to have a “generics party” this past week and forgot to invite us. But, no worries, we managed to track the recent wave of articles focusing on how payers are favoring branded medicines over generics, which can hit patients in cost sharing payments and out-of-pocket costs. The New York Times and ProPublica highlighted an emerging trend of payers denying patients access to generic medicines. Why would they do this? Because some payers realize funds in the form of rebate dollars negotiated with manufacturers forContinue Reading

August 7, 2017

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Categories: The Week That Was

The Week That Was: Crises in Communications

It’s never a dull week for The Week That Was team, and this week was certainly no exception. Express Scripts added 64 drugs to its exclusion list; mid-week, CVS followed suit with 17 drugs. Bernie Sanders was the only senator to vote against the user-fee agreements, while right-to-try legislation passed unanimously in the Senate. To cap off the week on Friday afternoon, the industry’s most infamous face, Martin Shkreli, was found guilty of securities fraud. While that seems like plenty, there is even more news to discuss. Read on for The Week That Was. DIY HEALTHCARE, Walter White-Style? Making medication is as easy as 1-2-3, or so that’s the theory shared by a handful of professors, scientists and providers across the country. As concerns about high drug prices intensify, this group of “pharma hackers” is exploring unconventional methods for developing everything from aspirin to EpiPens. Inspired by Ikea, ‘just-add-water’ Cup Noodles, and—believe it or not—illegal drug labs, these scientist-entrepreneurs are creating “do it yourself” chemistry kits and mini-lab to produce your own medicines at home. Obviously, the FDA is like, “umm, safety?” while other critics are challenging the claim that DIY drugs will save money, given that expensive R&D willContinue Reading

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