Special Diabetes Program reauthorized by Congress
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A decision by Congress to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program has drawn praise from the American Diabetes Association.
The program was part of the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 and will ensure continuance through 2013 of the Special Diabetes Program for American Indians while providing $150 million per year in funding.
Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, while another 57 million are prediabetic, with Native Americans and Alaska Natives having the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups, according to the ADA.
Gout treatment market to be driven by biotech drugs, Decision Resources finds
BURLINGTON, Mass. — Biotech drugs will help drive the markets for acute and chronic gout through 2019, according to a new report by market research firm Decision Resources.
The report, titled “Acute and Chronic Gout — New Agents Target Refractory Patients and Tap Market Opportunity,” found that the acute gout drug market would triple in size to $117 million, while the chronic gout market would reach $1.83 billion.
High-priced biotech drugs would help drive the market. The latest approved drug for chronic gout is Savient Pharmaceuticals’ Krystexxa (pegloticase), while Novartis’ Ilaris (canakinumab) and Regeneron’s Arcalyst (rilonacept) are under development for acute gout.
“These high-priced agents will be reserved for small segments of the population,” Decision Resources analyst Matthew Scutcher said. “Krystexxa will be used predominantly in patients with severe treatment-refractory chronic gout, while Ilaris and Acalyst will likely be used adjunctively with uricase-lowering treatment for patients who experience severe and frequent acute attacks.”
Poll: Medicare Part D beneficiaries unaware of measures to close ‘doughnut hole’
WASHINGTON — Most beneficiaries of the Medicare Part D program are unaware of new measures to close the so-called “doughnut hole” coverage gap, according to a recent poll.
The survey of 1,243 beneficiaries, commissioned by the Medicare Today coalition and conducted by KRC Research, found that 1-in-5 seniors know that eligible beneficiaries who have drug spending that places them in the doughnut hole — a point when beneficiaries’ drug costs pass a limit and leave them responsible for the entire cost — will receive a 50% discount on branded drugs starting next year.
Medicare Today co-chairwoman Mary Grealy said the survey research showed a need for continued outreach to beneficiaries by the public and private sectors.