This Week in Managed Care: March 27, 2020

March 28, 2020

This week, the top managed care news includes a $2 trillion package to address economic damage from coronavirus heads to President Trump, a regulatory change could change the fortunes for biosimilars, and the world’s biggest cardiology meeting goes virtual.

A $2 trillion package to address economic damage from coronavirus heads to President Trump, a regulatory change could change the fortunes for biosimilars, and the world’s biggest cardiology meeting goes virtual.

Welcome to This Week in Managed Care, I’m Matthew Gavidia.

Congress Passes Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

The Senate voted Wednesday on the largest fiscal stimulus bill in history, which includes $150 billion for hospitals and health systems. Senator Chuck Schumer said the bill includes the following:

  • Grants for personal protection equipment, testing supplies, workforce training, and new construction
  • Increased Medicare payments
  • Investments in the National Stockpile
  • Research funds for COVID-19
  • $1 billion for the Indian Health Service

New clinical trials for treatments started this week in New York, and results from a very small controlled trial with hydroxychloroquine did not show a benefit. However, studies starting now will use this drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday it appears the coronavirus may follow a seasonal pattern, making the need for a vaccine essential.

Said Fauci: “What we are starting to see now in the southern hemisphere, is that we are having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we will get a cycle around the second time.”

Visit AJMC.com for daily coverage of how COVID-19 is affecting healthcare delivery, including the effect of social distancing on seniors.

New Approval Process for Biologics

A new rule 10 years in the making could smooth the approval process for some biosimilar products, from biologics to insulin.

All this week, our sister site, the Center for Biosimilars, is looking at the impact of the new pathway under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of of 2009.

Look for our series, New Rule: For Biologics and Insulin, on CenterforBiosimilars.com.

ACC Goes Virtual

This weekend, the American College of Cardiology and the World Congress of Cardiology will present their annual scientific session in a virtual format.

AJMC.com will bring you full coverage of the meeting. Highlights will include:

  • Results from VICTORIA for vericiguat in heart failure
  • YOYAGER PAD will study the use of Xarelto with aspirin in patients with peripheral artery disease
  • A study will look at the use of Eliquis to treat VTE in cancer patients
  • A Canadian study will examine the use of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation

For full coverage, visit ajmc.com.

Paper of the Week

Now we bring you Paper of the Week, which looks back at research and commentary of the past 25 years in The American Journal of Managed Care® and why it matters today.

This week’s paper is our latest paper, just published in advance of our April issue. Authors from the law firm Jones Day argue that that COVID-19 represents an opportunity to advance telemedicine to protect both patients and healthcare providers.

For the full paper, visit ajmc.com.

For all of us at AJMC®, I’m Matthew Gavidia.

Thanks for joining us.