Showing: 1 - 6 of 6 RESULTS

New Analysis Shows Contract Pharmacies Financially Gain From 340B Program With No Clear Benefit to Patients

New Analysis Shows Contract Pharmacies Financially Gain From 340B Program With No Clear Benefit to Patients

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Berkeley Research Group (BRG) published an analysis of historical trends in 340B contract pharmacy arrangements. The findings conclude that the growth in the number of these arrangements is fueling explosive growth in the program at large and driving the 340B program farther and farther away from its original intended goal of providing discounted medicines to safety-net entities treating uninsured and vulnerable patients. 

New Analysis Shows Contract Pharmacies Financially Gain From 340B Program With No Clear Benefit to Patients
New Analysis Shows Contract Pharmacies Financially Gain From 340B Program With No Clear Benefit to Patients

Congress created the 340B program to help safety-net providers, including certain qualifying hospitals and federally-funded clinics, access discounts on prescription medicines for low-income or uninsured patients. In 2010, a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) policy opened the door to allow all 340B entities to contract with an unlimited number of for-profit retail pharmacies (e.g., CVS, Walgreens) to dispense 340B medicines. While this policy may have been intended to improve patient access to needed medications, it had the misguided effect of creating an opening that allowed for-profit vendors, pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers to exploit the program and make a profit on 340B sales – sales intended to benefit low-income and vulnerable patients.

“It is clear that contract pharmacies have leveraged market power to drive unprecedented program growth and siphon money out of the program and away from vulnerable patients,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “I urge lawmakers to consider the results of this analysis and pursue policies that ensure the 340B program benefits vulnerable patients rather than just line the pockets of for-profit corporations.”

Key findings from the analysis show that many retail pharmacies and other third parties have taken advantage of and financially benefited from the 340B program’s contract pharmacy arrangements:

  • 340B covered entities and their contract pharmacies generated an estimated $13 billion in gross profits on 340B purchased medicines in 2018, which represents more than 25% of pharmacies’ and providers’ total profits from dispensing or administering brand medicines.

  • Following HRSA’s expansion of the contract pharmacy program in March 2010, contract pharmacy participation grew a staggering 4,228% between April 2010 and April 2020.

  • While over 27,000 distinct pharmacies participate in the 340B program today, over half of the 340B profits retained by contract pharmacies are concentrated in just four pharmacy chains – Walgreens, Walmart, CVS Health and Cigna’s Accredo specialty pharmacy.

Analysis after analysis shows there is explosive growth in the program, but there is little to no clear evidence that this growth has benefited low-income and vulnerable patients. Even the New England Journal of Medicine found no evidence that expansion of the 340B program has resulted in improved care or lower mortality among low-income patients.

These new findings build upon a mounting body of evidence from the Government Accountability Office

13-year-old holds exercise class to benefit kids’ mental health

As 13-year-old Sadie Feingold prepared for her bat mitzvah project this year, she had one goal in mind: to stop the stigma.

The eighth-grader from Port Washington knew she wanted to focus on mental health for her community service project ahead of her bat mitzvah, or Jewish coming-of-age ceremony. She wanted to encourage kids and teens to talk about mental health struggles and help normalize it.

She said she was inspired to focus on this topic because of her own previous struggles with mental health.

“The whole point was to raise awareness to it and normalize it,” Sadie said.

So after doing some research with her mom about the connection between exercise and children’s mental health, they came up with a plan: She would host an exercise class at their synagogue for local teens and families, and raise money to support the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights, a mental health agency that treats children and families.

The Guidance Center said her efforts have raised nearly $2,000.

“People don’t really talk about mental health as they do with physical health,” Sadie said. ”I think that some people feel like it’s not important, and I want people to feel like they should be able to talk about their emotions, as they would talk about like how they feel physically.”

The idea originated back in the winter — before the pandemic took hold. She and her mom read a piece in The New York Times that reported how even a moderate amount of exercise in adolescents can raise their endorphin levels, and in turn, help improve their mental health. Endorphins are hormones that promote feelings of natural well-being.

Sadie continued doing research on the topic, and once restrictions lifted and they could congregate outside, her class came together.

They invited family, friends and others to congregate in the parking lot of The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, and on Sept. 13, about 35 kids, teens and adults participated in the 45-minute class of individual exercises, led by a fitness instructor they knew.

They took donations at the class to support the Guidance Center — and encouraged those who couldn’t attend to donate as well. Sadie also gave out T-shirts with “#StopTheStigma” printed on them.

“I think it’s important … that kids feel comfortable, and so they’re not alone in dealing with these issues,” Sadie’s mom Jessica Feingold said. “It’s just something that tons of people deal with now more than ever, and I think it’s important to get that message out there.”

Sadie’s bat mitzvah had been originally scheduled for June, and was postponed to Sept. 26 because of the pandemic. But her mitzvah project only grew in relevance during this period.

Regina Barros-Rivera, associate executive director at the Guidance Center, said their work at the center has become

New possible health care benefit rule roils theater world

The U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 theater actors and stage managers is blasting a proposal that would raise eligibility requirements for members to receive health care

“We all understand that there is no escaping the devastating loss of months of employer contributions nationwide, and no alternative aside from making adjustments to the plan. But I believe that the fund had both the obligation and the financial reserves to take the time to make better choices,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association.

Many actors and stage managers have been unable to qualify for the necessary weeks of work for eligibility since theaters went dark in March. Equity represents actors and stage managers across the nation.

In a statement, the fund said: “The past six months have been among the most difficult any of us has ever faced. We recognize the emotional and financial burdens you are facing.” It added: “After looking at many different approaches, the Trustees have developed a solution that balances meaningful coverage with the long-term sustainability of the fund.”

———

Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Source Article

Novartis says data confirms benefit of Zolgensma gene therapy for babies

The Daily Beast

Accused Gangster Charged With Ambush Shooting of L.A. Deputies

After a three-week manhunt, a Los Angeles man was arrested and charged Wednesday with attempting to murder two sheriff’s deputies who were ambushed as they sat in their car.Deonte Lee Murray, 36, is facing two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm for allegedly walking up to the squad car parked outside a Metro station on Sept. 12 and opening fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.“They became victims of a violent crime for one reason: They wear a badge,” L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a press conference.‘Cowardly’: Video Shows Gunman Ambushing Two L.A. Deputies in Patrol CarMurray, who faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, was recently charged with attempted murder for a carjacking in Compton two weeks before the shooting. He allegedly used the stolen car as a getaway vehicle in the ambush.He faces further charges of being part of a criminal street gang, discharging a rifle inflicting great bodily injury, and personal use of a rifle in the carjacking incident.The two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, identified in media reports as 31-year-old Claudia Apolinar and a 24-year-old man, were sitting in their car in Compton when Murray allegedly approached the front passenger side and opened fire.A security video showed a man in dark clothing approaching the patrol car before raising his handgun and firing several rounds through the window. One deputy is then seen emerging from the car and stumbling for several seconds.“Despite being critically injured, deputies valiantly cared for each other’s wounds and safety, communicated their location and plight to others and tactically prepared for another attack,” the sheriff’s department said in an earlier statement, adding that the suspect fled the scene in dark a Mercedes-Benz.Apolinar was shot in the jaw while her partner was shot in the head—and both are now at home recovering.The shooting was seized on by President Donald Trump, who claimed it was part of ongoing attacks on law enforcement by anti-police brutality protesters.While authorities on Wednesday wouldn’t comment on Murray’s motive, Kent Wegener, captain of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, said the 36-year-old “obviously hates policemen and he wants them dead, not specifically.”“These acts and that day, I will not forget it, and it represents the worst in humanity, and it shocked the whole nation,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva added during the press conference. “And that evening I said we’ll find this man, and I can report today we have found our suspect.”“That worst of humanity was followed by the best of humanity,” he added. “Our entire department rallied together.”Murray was charged earlier this month over the Sept. 1 carjacking. He allegedly confronted another man in Compton, shot him in the leg then stole his car. He was found and arrested on Sept. 15 after a lengthy standoff in Lynwood. Speculation was rife after the Sept. 15 standoff that Murray was the same person who

Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit in COVID-19 prevention: study

(Reuters) – A malaria drug taken by U.S. President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.

The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus.

Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.

In the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus.

All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.

The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug.

In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Source Article

Trump-Touted Hydroxychloroquine Shows No Benefit in COVID-19 Prevention: Study | Top News

(Reuters) – A malaria drug taken by U.S. President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.

The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus.

Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.

In the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus.

All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.

The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug.

In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article