This Week in Managed Care: October 7, 2016

This week, the top managed care stories included conference coverage from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's 2016 Nexus, Bill Clinton courted controversy when discussing the Affordable Care Act, and research finds fear of a job loss can increase the risk of diabetes.

Hello, I’m Justin Gallagher, associate publisher of The American Journal of Managed Care. Welcome to This Week in Managed Care from the Managed Markets News Network

AMCP Nexus Coverage

Increased competition in specialty pharmacy and lawsuits to keep biosimilars off the market were among the topics at this week’s annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 2016 Nexus, which took place in Alexandria, Va.

Aimee Tharaldson, PharmD, senior clinical consultant of emerging therapeutics at Express Scripts, said that while new cancer drugs continue to receive attention, drugs for orphan diseases are getting even more, and now account for 40% of the specialty pharmacy pipeline.

Tharaldson said Genentech is working on approval for the first drug for progressive multiple schlerosis, which will be an intravenous infusion given every 6 months.

Cancer drugs in the near-term pipeline include treatments for soft tissue sarcoma, advanced refractory BRCA+ ovarian cancer, and early-stage breast cancer patients who are HER2-positive.

See all of our coverage from AMCP.

Bill Clinton Courts ACA Controversy

Former President Bill Clinton created controversy in the presidential contest when he said aspects of the Affordable Care Act are the “craziest thing.”

While campaigning in Flint, Michigan, for his wife, Hillary Clinton, he described the contrast between those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, who are doing fine under President Obama’s signature law, and those whose incomes are just outside levels that qualify for subsidies.

Said Clinton: “You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare, and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”

For small businesses and these individuals just beyond the subsidy level, Clinton said, “It’s the craziest thing in the world.”


The benefits of team-based care are abundant when using novel treatments like immune checkpoint inhibitors, according to a panel that gathered last week in Philadelphia for the National Confernce of the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology.

Side effects, cost, and the need to involve family members are all considerations when weighing whether immuno-oncology is the right choice. So the team could include the nursing staff, the pharmacist and even a financial adviser, according to Gary Cohen, MD, medical director of the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

"The care team should also include other consultants including experts in gastroenterology, dermatology, pulmonary care, neurology, and radiology. Consultants need to be educated on all the toxicities associated with these agents," he said.

Gary Cohen, MD, medical director, Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute, Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Read our coverage of the discussion.

Unemployment line

Fear of a job loss can put people at greater risk of diabetes, a new study has found.

Researchers reporting in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at data from 140,000 people across 19 studies and found that those who reported being worried about losing their job were 19 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the follow-up period, which averaged a little over nine years.

While the authors said this does not prove that job insecurity causes diabetes, it adds to the list of factors that increase risk of the disease, which include obesity and cardiovascular disease.

ACO Coalition Live Meeting

Time is running out to join us for the ACO and Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition Fall Conference, taking place October 20-21 in Philadelphia. If you haven’t registered, please visit the ACO conference page.

For all of us at the Managed Markets News Network, I’m Justin Gallagher, thanks for joining us.

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