What We're Reading: Report Reveals Full ACA Enrollment So Far

What we're reading, January 8, 2016: HHS releases report with full Obamacare enrollment information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia; the expansion of the biosimilars in 2016; and promising Ebola treatment found not effective.

The first HHS report during the third open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act to include data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia revealed that more than 11.3 million people signed up for coverage through the health insurance marketplaces. This includes the 8.6 million in the 38 states using HealthCare.gov and the 2.7 million people in the 13 states using their own marketplaces. Nearly one-fourth of all plan selections were made by individuals between the ages of 18 and 34. The data is for enrollment through December 26, 2015.

In 2016, the expansion of the biosimilar pipeline will be driven by a number of factors, including growing approvals in Europe and the US and expiring patents, according to an article by the senior medical director of Quintiles Asia and published in India’s The Financial Express. The second wave of biosimilars includes biologics with patents expiring between 2015 and 2020, such as the top-selling products Humira, Enbrel, Rituxan/MabThera, Avastin, Herceptin, and Remicade. There are already more than 160 biosimilars in different stages of development for these drugs.

The most promising treatment for patients with Ebola has been found to be not effective, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The experimental treatment used blood plasma from Ebola survivors, who had developed antibodies to neutralize the virus, reported The New York Times. However, the small study of 84 patients found that the survival rate was not significantly better than the rate for patients who did not receive blood transfusions.