Eric Schultz
Eric H. Schultz, the president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim for the past eight years, resigned today for behavior that he described in his resignation letter as “inconsistent with my personal core values and the company’s core values.” Full text of the letter is pasted in below. Boston media outlets…
Too many Americans are skipping prescribed medications because they find them too expensive. That foretells trouble for payers—and for patients. On this page, you’ll find several relevant facts and numbers.
News & Commentary
Researchers used callers, posing as the uninsured, to call primary care offices. They got appointments if they could pay the fee. Things changed, however, if the callers tried to work out a deal by which they would pay in installments. Far fewer callers could get appointments in such cases.
News Wire
Polypharmacy, including both prescription and OTC drugs, increase risk
Continuous nerve stimulation helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms
Agency plans to respond after receipt of letter of concern
Guidance published on how to best design coverage for treatment of the smallest, most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis
News & Commentary
Frequent shift work, particularly at night, increases type 2 diabetes risk factors, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at the impact on 270,000 people who currently work the night shift, using data from the UK Biobank.
Robert Calandra
The industry has been criticized for lack of transparency—and worse. Some see ‘a ton of sense’ in the proposed mergers with insurers and retailers. Others see a risk of even higher drug prices and a need for oversight.
Jan Greene
Christine Lee, MD
SAID, MOD, MARD—Swedish researchers are proposing a new taxonomy for diabetes based on a cluster of factors.
Now available

Precision medicine, big data, Alzheimer’s Disease, migraine, and RNA therapeutics.
Learnings from the April 2018 meeting.
Edited by Jill Condello, PhD, ICON Access, Commercialisation & Communications


Medicine Doesn’t Work If Patients Don’t Take It

And yet, nonadherence not only persists, but the costs of more effective medications makes the problem worse. As our cover story notes, nonadherence impairs and even shortens life, and that’s toxic for a health system that has trouble controlling costs as it is.

Mainly, though, this issue is about managing diabetes. Our story looks at how Nevadan lawmakers are pushing a bill that requires more transparency from drugmakers. As other states mull similar action, pharma companies push back.

We  also look at new guidelines from the American College of Physicians that recommend less-aggressive blood sugar targets. Other professional groups think that’s a terrible idea.

Meanwhile, researchers have proposed a new taxonomy that divides diabetes into clusters instead of types.

Philadelphia, PA
July 16-17, 2018
Los Angeles, CA
July 16-17, 2018
Alexandria, VA
July 16-17, 2018
Alexandria, VA
July 16-17, 2018
San Diego, CA
July 23-24, 2018
Philadelphia, PA
July 23, 2018
The Payers’ Playbook
Joseph Burns
Neeraj Sood
Employers and health insurers are asking consumers to put ‘more skin in the game’ with high-deductible health plans but don’t provide incentives for them to choose high-value care.
News & Commentary
Compared with control groups, the SGLT-2 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists were associated with reductions in all-cause mortality—and researchers had set all-cause mortality as the primary outcome for the meta-analysis. As for the DPP-4 inhibitors, they identified an association with a small increase (0.1%) in all-cause mortality compared with controls.
Susan Ladika
Deborah Burger
Sometimes patients are angry. Sometimes it is a symptom of their illness. Either way, nurses are on the front lines of health care and bear the brunt of the physical and verbal abuse from patients; gender may be a factor. In California, hospitals and other health care providers are now required to keep a log of violent incidents and develop violence prevention plans. Federal legislation has been introduced.