Letter to Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on changes to 340B hospital programs

This was sent out by the Jefferson Healthcare on their concerns to changes to the 340B program. This program has been used to theoretically fund low cost prescriptions. There are a variety of points of view about what the program has actually achieved, but the hospital is adamantly opposed to the cuts to it.  We likely can discuss this more at the next Citizen’s Healthcare Access group meeting in September in Port Townsend.

340b letter PDF file. Here’s the first page so you can decide if you want to read the whole PDF.

340b letter_Page_1

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates – ProPublica

Following the discussion we had with Dr. Art Zoloph this month on the subject of stockpiling medicines, is this superb story by ProPublica. It begs the question of why not spend the money to appropriately test drug potency over time, given the expense of buying them?

Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer.
by Marshall Allen
ProPublica, July 18, 2017

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-myth-of-drug-expiration-dates

Some possible good news on prostate cancer- The Guardian

This was in today’s Guardian.

Prostate cancer trial stuns researchers: ‘It’s a once in a career feeling’ – Study with ‘powerful results’ finds that combining two existing therapies could extend the life of men with advanced, high-risk prostate cancer by 37%. Combining two existing prostate cancer therapies could extend the life of men with advanced, high-risk prostate cancer by 37%, according to a study presented at the world’s largest cancer conference. The new findings could change how doctors first approach treatment of prostate cancer.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/03/prostate-cancer-therapy-study-abiraterone?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=229027&subid=9822000&CMP=GT_US_collection

Payer snubs PTC’s Emflaza, signaling pricing trouble ahead of launch – FiercePharma

Washington State continues to battle for lower cost prescriptions. This is your government in action. It’s a good thing.

As Washington State’s HCA noted, PTC Therapeutics has not announced its new price. But the group published a report (PDF) stating that prednisone—at a cost of 5 cents per tablet and $55 per year—will be its preferred corticosteroid for DMD patients. It’s the “lower cost, equally effective” option, according to HCA.

Read the whole story here:

http://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/policy-report-washington-s-largest-healthcare-purchaser-snubs-ptc-s-emflaza