Viewpoint
John S. Linehan, JD
Drug manufacturers have relied on coupons to promote access to branded drugs by reducing patients’ out-of-pocket costs. Insurers and PBMs, on the other hand, have opposed coupons because they undermine the effectiveness of cost-sharing requirements and benefit designs that incentivize cost-effective drug prescribing and purchasing choices.

News Wire

Intratumoral Injection Stimulates Immune Activation
Test Determines Severity of Pain, Helps Physicians Select Best Options
Policy Could Be Life-Changing for People With Spinal Cord Injury
Liver Fluke Infestation Affects Almost 2.5 Million People Globally
Doctors at an AMA conference express worry that any such move would hurt patients.
Legislation & Regulation
Richard Mark Kirkner
The FDA commissioner has an 11-step ‘action plan’ to get biosimilars out of a repeat mode of unrealized potential. But issues like interchangeability still need clarifying if biosimilars are to have a major effect on drug expenditures.
SPECIAL REPORT: BIOSIMILARS
Thomas Reinke
Biosimilars are saving money but not in the U.S., where companies have used a variety of stalling tactics. Now Pfizer and others are accusing Johnson & Johnson of withholding rebates to fend off biosimilar competition to Remicade.
Q&A
Interview by Peter Wehrwein
The price of biologics can ruin cancer patients financially, this leading oncology expert reminds us. Biosimilars may help, but we need more of them on the market.
CURRENT ISSUE February 2019

EXACTLY HOW MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS ARE PAID

Senior Contributing Editor Timothy Kelley was once the Editor of this publication, so he knows his stuff. A good thing, too, because the payment system for Medicare Advantage fends off understanding. But Tim does it in way that should be helpful to both novices and experts. Meanwhile, Contributing Editor Jan Greene takes on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has been a fraught issue in women’s health care for decades. Jan untangles the current issues of bioidentical HRT and compounding. Other features look at the state of women’s health care in general (not good), and how financially beneficial Medicare Advantage has been to insurers up until now (very). These are standouts in an issue loaded with insightful analysis and outstanding, jargon-free reportage. Take a look. It’s one of our cover-to-cover successes.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

New Orleans, LA
March 11-12, 2019
New Orleans, LA
March 11-12, 2019
Philadelphia, PA
April 16-17, 2019
Washington, DC
April 28-May 01. 2019
Las Vegas, NV
April 29-May 02. 2019
Alexandria, VA
May 08-09, 2019
SPECIAL REPORT: BIOSIMILARS
Thomas Reinke
They are ‘living’ molecules, and there is variability among lots, even in the reference products. The key issue is whether the variability has any clinical significance. So far, it hasn’t.
Susan Ladika
The TNF-α blocker is the world’s top-selling drug, by revenue. It faces biosimilar competition in Europe, but it will be four years before it’s challenged in the U.S.
News & Commentary
There’s the pressure on price and market share when competing biosimilars come on the market and threaten your major moneymaker. On the other side, there’s the opportunity for developing and launching biosimilars in a bid to grab market share (and revenue) from the other guy’s “originator” biologic.