drugs

Chartbook: Prescription drugs driving CT health costs across payers

According to a new Chartbook, prescription drugs are the largest driver of health costs in our state. We spend more per person on prescriptions than all states but Delaware and that number is rising faster here than most states. Charts regarding Medicaid spending have been corrected to reflect that pharmacy costs in the program have…

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Chartbook: CT drugs costs high and growing fast

14.4% of our state’s economy was devoted to health care services in 2014, slightly below the US average, according to a new Chartbook on CT health spending. Based on newly released data from CMS actuaries, the analysis finds that CT health costs per person are not surprisingly high but we out-perform most other states in…

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MD drug anti-gouging bill passes into law, CT Senate passes drug benefits fairness bill

On Friday, a Maryland billto control generic drug prices passed into law without the Governor’s signature. Maryland’s Attorney General Frosh championed this first-in-the-nation anti-gouging bill. The issue was raised in response to extreme price increases in older drugs such as EpiPen, naloxone, and Daraprim. The bill requires Maryland’s Medicaid program to notify the Attorney General…

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Health Care Cabinet tackles drug costs

At yesterday’s meeting, CT’s Health Care Cabinet agreed to create four working groups to develop recommendations and options to control drug spending in the state. We also reviewed a report from CT’s APCD on the Top 50 Highest Total Cost Drugs in CT. The Cabinet has been taking a deep dive into rising prescription drug…

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FDA committee tackles how to assess drugs that target serious infections but affect small populations

Last week’s meeting of the FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee was unusual. We didn’t address the merits of a single new drug the FDA is considering for approval but how to fairly assess drugs that target a single bacterial species causing very serious and deadly infections but that affect small populations. Getting sufficient numbers of…

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Maryland explores state options to control pharmacy costs

Like many states, Maryland is considering state policy options to control rising prescription costs. Tuesday, the state’s Senate Finance Committee heard from 13 invited experts about possibilities. Committee Chair, Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton, opened the briefing stating that controlling prescription drug costs is “one of the biggest issues that we’ll deal with this year.” Ellen…

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Cabinet begins to tackle prescription costs

CT’s Health Care Cabinet began drilling down into rising prescription drug costs and state options to stem the rise. We heard from Ameet Sarpatwari, consultant to NASHP on their report for states, and Tom Brownlie of Pfizer and Jenny Bryant of PhRMA. Dr. Sarpatwari outlined high US spending on drugs and the consequences for consumers’…

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FDA panel barely approves new antibiotic for pneumonia

Friday, the FDA’s Antimicrobial Drug Advisory Committee split 7 to 6, to approve Solithromycin, a new drug for community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia is responsible for 4.5 million ambulatory visits. About half of bacteria causing pneumonia in the US are now resistant to the best current treatment option. The committee agreed that the drug was proven effective,…

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CSG-ERC brief on VT’s drug price transparency law

In recent years drug costs have grown far faster than other health care services, last year growing 8.1% compared to overall health spending growth of 4.8%. Forty five new drugs were approved in the US last year, up from 41 the year before and 27 in 2013. Those increases are straining government budgets, squeezing out…

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