Managed Care

 

6-State Coalition Creating Joint Drug-Buying Pool

MANAGED CARE May 2001. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

6-State Coalition Creating Joint Drug-Buying Pool

MANAGED CARE May 2001. ©MediMedia USA

A second multistate drug-purchasing effort is forming, this time in the Southeast. Led by West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, the group-buying effort includes Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Washington State is also participating in the talks, which have thus far consisted of two meetings, most recently on April 30.

The states are interested in pooling their buying power to try to force greater rebates from drug manufacturers. The effort is similar to a drug-buying pool launched by Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont last year. The New England effort is aimed at reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals for Medicaid recipients, state employees, and the uninsured — about 1.3 million people. In late April, Wise signed legislation that would create a purchasing pool for state workers; one strategy under consideration is directing business to a single pharmacy benefit manager.

In another pharmacy-related development, WellPoint Health Networks presented evidence to the FDA May 11 on its request to switch popular branded antihistamines to over-the-counter status. WellPoint says they are safer than current over-the-counter products; pharmaceutical companies say it's all about shifting costs to the consumer. It's the first time someone other than a manufacturer has requested OTC status for specific prescription products.

Those products, and many others, are heavily promoted to the public. Now, the FDA has begun a review of its 1997 policy that allowed direct-to-consumer advertising to explode — to the chagrin of MCOs, which claim the FDA unleashed a trend that sent their pharmacy costs skyrocketing. The FDA will decide by year's end whether the ads "confuse consumers and adversely impact the relationship between patients and their health care providers."

Meetings

Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014