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“Lifestyle” Drug Coverage Will Be Federal Policy Issue Under Medicare Rx

Executive Summary

The debate over coverage of "lifestyle" drugs is likely to intensify as a federal policy issue once the Medicare prescription drug benefit takes effect in 2006

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Part D Plans With Most Enrollees Getting Deeper Discounts In ’07 – Astra Exec

The Medicare Part D prescription drug plans that enrolled the largest number of beneficiaries in 2006 have generally been able to extract deeper discounts from manufacturers in the second year of the drug benefit, AstraZeneca U.S. CEO Tony Zook said in an interview with "The Pink Sheet."

Part D Plans With Most Enrollees Getting Deeper Discounts In ’07 – Astra Exec

The Medicare Part D prescription drug plans that enrolled the largest number of beneficiaries in 2006 have generally been able to extract deeper discounts from manufacturers in the second year of the drug benefit, AstraZeneca U.S. CEO Tony Zook said in an interview with "The Pink Sheet."

Somewhere Tom Scully is smiling

UnitedHealth announces Sept. 1 that it is dropping AstraZeneca's proton pump inhibitor Nexium (esomeprazole) from the formularies of some of its commercial plans. United says the move does not affect its Medicare Part D plans, but AstraZeneca expects Nexium will be removed from additional United commercial formularies later this year. United says it made the decision in light of the availability of equally effective, less expensive options; esomeprazole is an isomer of AstraZeneca's Prilosec (omeprazole), which is available in over-the-counter and generic versions. AstraZeneca would not comment on the value of the United business, but says it is not revising revenue projections for Nexium for the remainder of 2006 and 2007. Nexium has been held up, by former CMS Administrator Tom Scully and others, as an example of a line extension that could be squeezed by the increasingly challenging reimbursement environment (1"The Pink Sheet" May 31, 2004, p. 28)...

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