What We're Reading: Aetna, Cigna Sign Performance-Based Deals With Novartis

What we're reading, February 9, 2016: Novartis signs 2 performance-based deals for its new heart drug; 8 states significantly reduced uninsured rates; and the Obama administration will ask for $1.8 billion to prepare to fight the Zika virus.

Novartis has made deals with Cigna and Aetna for performance-based pricing for the new heart drug Entresto. The agreement would link payments to Novartis to how well the drug improves the relative health of customers based on a reduction in the proportion of customers admitted to the hospital for heart failure, according to Reuters. Aetna’s agreement is based on the drug replicating the results achieved during clinical trials: reducing hospitalizations and the rate of cardiovascular death related to heart failure.

In 8 states, the rate of uninsured residents dropped significantly last year, according to a report from the government. The states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York—represent a mix of red and blue and 5 have Republican governors, reported AP. Another 10 states reported notable reductions, although were not categorized by the survey as statistically significant. Those states were Georgie, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

As Zika virus panic spreads in the US, the CDC is now on the highest level of alert and President Obama will ask Congress for $1.8 billion to help fight the virus. Although, the US has not yet seen a case of Zika transmitted directly in the continental US, with spring, along with an increase in mosquitos, approaching the administration said it wants to be prepared, according to The Washington Post. In Atlanta, more than 300 CDC staff are working to monitor and coordinate the Zika response. However, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he does not expect a major outbreak in the US.