Warning Issued Over Possible Budget-Busting Cost Of New Cystic Fibrosis Drug
In other treatment news, Amgen Inc.'s Corlanor becomes the first new heart failure medication in a dozen years to receive Food and Drug Administration approval. And the health-insurance industry is calling for new rules and oversight of medical devices.
The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot:
Will A New Vertex Drug For Cystic Fibrosis Become A Budget Buster?
As the national debate over the cost of prescription medicines intensifies, a pharmacy benefits manager is warning that a forthcoming combination treatment for cystic fibrosis may become the latest example of a budget-busting drug. In an analysis of insured patients, Prime Therapeutics estimates that it may cost as much as $4.5 billion annually for the nation’s health care system to pay for a combination medicine that includes Kalydeco – an existing and treatment sold by Vertex Pharmaceuticals – along with another Vertex compound. (Silverman, 4/15)
The Associated Press:
FDA Approves New Type Of Heart Failure Drug From Amgen
Patients with chronic heart failure, a disabling, deadly disease that worsens as the heart gradually pumps less efficiently, are getting a much-needed new option with U.S. approval Wednesday of a novel drug from Amgen Inc. Corlanor is the first medication in a dozen years for heart failure, which is becoming more common with obesity — and more people surviving heart attacks due to better treatments. (Johnson, 4/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
Health Insurers Call For Stronger Rules On Medical Devices
The U.S. health-insurance industry is calling for tougher rules for approving and tracking medical devices, citing regulatory gaps exposed last year when a tool used for decades in hysterectomies was found to spread cancer. America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, said in a letter to Sen. Bob Casey on Tuesday that the dangers of the laparoscopic power morcellator reveal weaknesses in how devices are cleared for use and monitored once they are on the market. The letter was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. (Kamp, 4/15)