OBR Daily Commentary

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Hospitals Chase Lucrative Drug Discounts

(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) June 16, 2017 - At Grady Memorial Hospital, where Atlanta’s poor and uninsured are welcomed, the pharmacy charges most patients $5 or less for outpatient medications that treat everything from diabetes to cancer.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: June 20, 2017)

quotesThe article points out the biggest concern associated with the so-called abuse of the 340B program. As noted, the 340B program was intended to provide care to the poor. As such, while the institution requires a 51% discount on medications, the institution can bill the patient's insurer for the normal negotiated amount, thus allowing the institution to use the margin to help subsidize the care provided. Technically, the institution is suppose to bill for medications used for the poor only, but that has expanded to a larger population as noted. This is a pretty accurate description of the abuse that is taking place, which is contributing to the high cost of drugs. There has been talk of tightening the system up for years, but it has yet to happen.quotes

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Cancer's Big Infrastructure Problem

(Forbes) June 15, 2017 - We need to do more than just raise cancer drug prices yet again. We need to invest in the kind of infrastructure that will make it possible to test many of these medicines, and speed up innovation further.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: June 16, 2017)

quotesThere is an infrastructure problem, and the problem is that we need to do a better job to show the trust value of the generic profiling so that it will be paid for. If the tests are covered, the drugs will be used. Next, we need to have more comparative trials between like drug in classes so we definitely will know if one drug is better over another. Finally, we need to rebuild the entire reimbursement system so that pricing is not driven by what the market will accept. Simple changes .... Let's get them done!!quotes

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Cancer Patient Sues Celgene For Thwarting Generic Versions Of Its Pricey Meds

(STAT Plus) June 15, 2017 - In what may be a first, a patient has filed a lawsuit accusing a drug maker of hiding behind a mandated safety program to thwart generic competition. The company, in this case, is Celgene.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: June 16, 2017)

quotesThis sounds like the same play innovator manufacturers are playing in the biosimilar world, where the reference product is not being made available to biosimilar companies to conduct their comparative studies. One other point to be made here is was the increase in copay from $42 to $250 due to the price increase solely, or due to a change in the benefit design?quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...