ICER Watch: A New Target
ICER has a new target: patients with non-small cell lung cancer — and the newer therapy that can heal them.
This week, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review released its latest attack on patients with the publication of a scoping document explaining the review process to evaluate existing treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
According to AJMC, “The report, which will be reviewed by a Midwest Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC) in October of this year, will evaluate clinical and economic outcomes of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) agents used to treat NSCLC with a mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR+).”
ICER has repeatedly demonstrated its agenda to reduce patients’ access to life-saving treatments. This latest value benchmark is no exception.
Quote of the Day: House GOP Promises to Put “Patients First”
“Our plan will focus on quality because we put patients first,” — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at a Wednesday press conference launching the House GOP’s health care reform plan.
We’re still reviewing the 37-page white paper proposed by House Republicans. But, we’re pleased to see House Republicans promise to put patients first. Let’s hope they hold themselves to it.
HHS Launches Enrollment Push
Federal officials are getting an early start on 2017 marketplace enrollment.
Kaiser Health News reports that, with its early push, the Obama administration is targeting young adults, who represent the largest group of uninsured Americans. Roughly 45 percent of Americans that lacked health insurance in 2014 were under the age of 35. In 2014, 7.9 million Americans paid a fine for failure to obtain health insurance.
As part of its outreach, HHS will send letters to uninsured people who paid the individual mandate fine as well as emails to everyone that opened an account but did not choose a plan.
“This new strategy … will let us directly reach millions who were recently uninsured and may appreciate the value of marketplace coverage,” HHS said.
Open enrollment officially starts Nov. 1.
State Spotlight: Fighting Fail First in North Carolina
Patients in North Carolina could soon gain more support in battling fail first insurance policies.
This week, the North Carolina House Insurance Committee will consider a bill that would “speed up the process and make it easier for patients and doctors to request particular drugs, rather than having to go through the step therapy process North Carolina law currently requires.”
WRAL notes, “Step therapy requires patients to use one or more drugs that are often older, generic versions and have been tested and studied before the patient can use a drug they’d prefer or the doctor suggests, unless the doctor seeks an exception. Step therapy legislation across the United States has been a response to rising costs and widespread commercial advertisements for prescription drugs.”
Rep. Gregory Murphy authored House Bill 1048 based upon his experiences as a practicing physician.
“(The patient’s) insurance company will say, ‘Well, you have to try this first.’ Well, I know point-blank it’s an inferior drug, and that’s not going to work,” Murphy said.