Caroline's Feed
Jan 16, 2015

Aetna backs Gilead’s hepatitis C treatment, gets discount

By Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Aetna Inc, the third-largest U.S. health insurer, said it negotiated a discount with Gilead Sciences Inc for its hepatitis C treatment and will offer it as the preferred choice to nearly 11 million commercial customers.

Aetna, which posted an updated coverage policy on its website on Friday, said it believes the price it received for Gilead’s Sovaldi, and a newer combination treatment called Harvoni, is “competitive with other recently announced agreements for this class of therapy.” It would not detail the size of the discount.

Jan 16, 2015

CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-Aetna backs Gilead’s hepatitis C treatment, gets discount

Jan 16 (Reuters) – Aetna Inc, the third-largest U.S.
health insurer, said it has negotiated a discount with Gilead
Sciences Inc for its hepatitis C treatment and will
offer it as the preferred choice to its nearly 11 million
commercial customers.

Aetna, which posted an updated coverage policy on its
website on Friday, said in a statement that it believes its
price is “competitive with other recently announced agreements
for this class of therapy.”

Jan 16, 2015

Exclusive – Actavis aims to add Allergan CEO to its board: sources

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive David Pyott is close to joining the board of directors of Actavis Plc (ACT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which reached a deal to buy the Botox-maker for $66 billion (43 billion pounds) in November, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Actavis CEO Brent Saunders is trying to recruit Pyott to join the board and is working through corporate governance issues, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.

Jan 15, 2015

Actavis aims to add Allergan CEO to its board: sources

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Officer David Pyott is close to joining the board of directors of Actavis Plc (ACT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which reached a deal to acquire the Botox-maker for $66 billion in November, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Actavis CEO Brent Saunders is trying to recruit Pyott to join the board and is working through corporate governance issues, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.

Jan 15, 2015

Kite CEO plans to learn from Gilead’s pricing playbook

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Kite Pharma Inc plans to open conversations with insurers this year to lay the groundwork for an experimental cancer treatment that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if it works and is approved by regulators, top executives said this week.

The possible treatment has yet to start a broad clinical trial, but the urgency comes as biotech and pharma companies consider how to navigate pushback by health insurers against Gilead Sciences Inc on the price of its hepatitis C treatment.

Jan 15, 2015

Insight – Big Pharma faces up to new price pressure from aggressive insurers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The world’s biggest drugmakers face a new reality when it comes to U.S. pricing for their products as insurers use aggressive tactics to extract steep price discounts, even for the newest medications.

Big Pharma executives acknowledged the depth of change this week during public presentations and interviews with Reuters at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco. Drugmakers have long relied on their ability to charge whatever they deemed appropriate in the U.S., the world’s most expensive healthcare system.

Jan 15, 2015

Big Pharma faces up to new price pressure from aggressive insurers

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The world’s biggest
drugmakers face a new reality when it comes to U.S. pricing for
their products as insurers use aggressive tactics to extract
steep price discounts, even for the newest medications.

Big Pharma executives acknowledged the depth of change this
week during public presentations and interviews with Reuters at
the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco.
Drugmakers have long relied on their ability to charge whatever
they deemed appropriate in the U.S., the world’s most expensive
healthcare system.

Jan 14, 2015

After Canada, UK, 23andMe wants DNA test growth abroad

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Silicon Valley-based genetic testing company 23andMe is looking for new growth of its direct-to-consumer DNA tests abroad, building on recent expansions into Canada and the UK.

The company, whose consumer-directed tests were barred by U.S. health regulators in 2013, said Western Europe is one focus for expansion. It is also exploring regions where it sees the most need, 23andMe Co-founder and Chief Executive Anne Wojcicki said in an interview.

Jan 13, 2015

U.S. insurers squeeze diabetes drug prices : Eli Lilly

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co said on Monday that U.S. insurers are increasing pressure on the price of diabetes medications as they switch coverage from certain drugs to others to trim costs.

At the same time, Lilly’s financial chief believes its products produce better results for patients and will help the company, which is one of the largest diabetes drugmakers, withstand the pressure.

Jan 5, 2015

CVS to cover Gilead hepatitis C treatment over AbbVie regimen

Jan 5 (Reuters) – CVS Health Corp, one of the
largest U.S. managers of drug benefits, said it would give
preferred status to the hepatitis C treatments from Gilead
Sciences and cover a new competing treatment from
AbbVie Inc only as an exception.

The latest salvo in the battle to grab market share for new
all-oral treatments for the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus
follows a move last month by CVS rival Express Scripts Holding
that favored AbbVie’s regimen after negotiating a price
discount below what Gilead had been charging its commercial
customers.