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Amgen Neupogen

Executive Summary

Omnibus appropriations bill (HR 3194) passed by Congress Nov. 19 includes a provision to allow Medicare coverage "of a drug or biologic administered incident to a physician's service where the product is one that is not usually self-administered by the patient." The provision is understood to be an effort to protect Medicare payments for Amgen's cancer support therapy filgrastim. The omnibus provision also includes language directing the Health Care Financing Administration to hold two regional "town hall" meetings "to give interested organizations and individuals an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns on the issue of reimbursement for injectable drugs." The town hall meetings could provide a venue for Immunex to raise the issue of Medicare reimbursement for the rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, which the Washington House delegation has proposed ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 27, p. 13)

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