What We're Reading: A New Definition of Dual Eligibles

What we're reading, October 23, 2015: a new definition of dual eligibles, FDA warning on liver toxicity of Abbvie's hepatitis C drug, and Amgen's Repatha can cost patients more than just money.

A New Definition of Dual Eligibles?

Errors within the functioning of the Affordable Care Act, confirmed by investigators from the Government Accountability Office or GAO, have led to duplicate coverage for some enrollees and excess payments for some. While some enrollees in Medicaid were also receiving subsidies for private insurance, those eligible for an average of 57% of costs of Medicaid under the old rule are being covered a 100%. Meanwhile the federal government has promised extra efforts to prevent duplicate coverage and has assured that states are being trained to identify newly eligible beneficiaries.

Read more here.

Patient Deaths Sparks FDA Warning on AbbVie’s Hepatitis C Drugs

The FDA has asked AbbVie, the company that developed Viekira Pak and Technivie for hepatitis C, to alter the drug label and include a warning on liver injury. This comes after FDA investigators identified several cases where patients with underlying liver disease suffered from hepatic decompensation and liver failure after taking these medicines. In most of the reported cases, liver injury occurred within 1 to 4 weeks of initiating treatment.

Read the FDA’s Drug Safety Communication here.

Participation in Repatha Copay Program May Cost Patients Their Privacy

Enrollment in Amgen’s RepathaReady program may force participants to sign-off their medical information to the company and even to a third party, according to a report published on MedpageToday. A copay card that provides patients access to this $14,000 a year anti-cholesterol medication for just a tiny fraction of the cost would also result in loss of privacy. The patient agreement indicates, “I understand that Amgen may use my personal information, including my personal health information, for 10 years once I accept this Authorization or for a shorter time period if required by state law.”

Read more here.