The Weekly Roundup

February 11, 2017 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

There have been a lot of brand makeovers underway in pharma lately. While NCPA urges legislators to keep their eyes on the ball, PBMs have been working hard over the last few weeks to clear themselves of responsibility for drug prices by placing the blame on anyone but themselves. Check out the video on transparency in this piece from Business Insider. (Notice any stakeholders missing in their analysis?) Meanwhile, on Wall Street, analysts were looking for more guidance on the role of CVS Health’s PBM division this week, which reportedly “exceeded expectations” in the fourth quarter. CVS has also been busy with a CMS report on the role and impact of DIR fees, and the usual commentators are also weighing in on the debate. All the while, drug manufacturers are reshaping public perception to laud the importance of R&D. Have you noticed?

Here are few other stories that might be of interest:

  • The price is right. Confirmed early this morning in a party-line vote, the new head of HHS will be the first physician to lead the agency since Bush Sr.’s administration. As of today, the FDA is still up for grabs.
  • Like a good sports metaphor? Tom Brady’s epic comeback (sigh) last Sunday sparked some good armchair commentary for business this week.
  • New to specialty? You may have already missed the boat on Hepatitis drugs. This report shows chronicles of a loss in utilization and cost, and—with a bevy of other factors—prompts industry watchers to anticipate the cost of treatment to fall further.  
  • Balancing priorities. Illinois introduced legislation purported to reduce prescription errors, but business lobbies aren’t having any of it. Here’s what’s happening in our home state of Minnesota on that front.
  • Thoughts on leadership: if you’re feeling a bit of a headwind this month, this might help.

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Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors.