Tysabri numbers bounce back higher than expected
DUBLIN, Ireland An Irish drug maker hopes to see 100,000 people using its multiple sclerosis drug within two years.
Elan said Tuesday that 31,800 people around the world were using Tysabri at the end of last month, including 17,800 in the United States, 13,400 elsewhere and 600 in clinical trials. The number was greater than many analysts had anticipated. Elan developed the drug, known generically as natalizumab, with the American company Biogen Idec.
Tysabri had sales of $500 million in 2007, according to Biogen Idec financial data. Sales of the drug were suspended in 2005 when it was linked to a potentially fatal brain disease, but resumed the next year with stronger guidelines for prescriptions for MS. It was also approved in March for treating Crohn’s bowel disorder.
FairWarning doubles H1 revenues year-on-year
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The healthcare privacy auditing solutions for electronic health records company FairWarning has announced that during the first six months of 2008, the company more than doubled revenues over the same period of time in 2007. Furthermore, the company expects that by the end of this year, it will double 2007 revenues.
FairWarning has experienced a spike in sales of its privacy auditing solutions across every sector of the healthcare industry including: hospitals, health systems and major physician offices. FairWarning attributes its growth and growing customer base to a drastic increase in major identity theft and employee snooping incidents. Additionally, the news of HIPAA audits has fueled an industry-wide realignment of priorities with privacy and security compliance at the top of mind for healthcare organizations.
“Driving our market is the recognition among healthcare organizations and patients that private patient data can be compromised and used for fraudulent purposes,” said Kurt Long, chief executive officer of FairWarning. “Our company is laser focused on enabling our customers to proactively thwart patient privacy breaches while meeting specific auditing provisions of HIPAA.”
HHS gives $49.1 million to 30 states
WASHINGTON Health and Human Services secretary Michael Leavitt yesterday announced awards of over $49 million in grants to 30 states that provide health insurance to residents who cannot get conventional health coverage because of their health status.
The grants will be used by the states to offset losses that they incurred in the operation of high-risk pools, which are typically state-created non-profit associations that offer health coverage to individuals with serious medical conditions. Grant funds also provide support for disease management for chronic conditions and premium subsidies for individuals with lower incomes. Enrollment in these pools is growing, with more than 200,000 individuals enrolled in state pools.
“These grants will make it more affordable for states to expand access to health care through high risk pools for the uninsured,” Leavitt said. “Individuals who benefit from these pools usually have a history of health problems that make it extremely difficult to find affordable health coverage in the individual market.”
Funds were allocated based on the number of uninsured individuals in each state and the numbers of individuals enrolled in each pool. This year’s grants are in addition to approximately $286 million that states have received since 2003 to support this program.
The 30 states that received grants are as follows: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The grants to support state high-risks pools are one piece in the Bush Administration’s broad strategy for expanding access to health care for the more than 40 million Americans without health insurance. HHS’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services administers the program.