Posts Tagged ‘Medicare’

A System of High Prices, Stigma, and Inequity in Obesity

July 3, 2024 — Nope, says Dr. Alissa Chen. Medicare shouldn’t start covering obesity medicines. Her dad, 72, has obesity that began when he was in grad school and has persisted throughout his life. Now he has the cardiovascular disease that often results from untreated obesity. But no, she doesn’t want him to receive treatment with advanced medicines proven […]

Momentum! TROA Passed in House Ways and Means

June 28, 2024 — With a bipartisan a vote of 36-4 yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed an amended version of TROA – the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. Honestly, after a decade of toiling away to educate legislators about the need for this, we need a pinch to assure ourselves it’s real. This is great  news […]

Getting Serious About Obesity Care in Medicare

June 27, 2024 — Today for the first time ever, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee will be marking up the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act on Capitol Hill. This is a big deal simply because it means that finally, after a decade of advocacy efforts, Congress is getting serious about obesity care in Medicare. Technically, what the […]

Will Policy Makers or Market Forces Lower GLP-1 Costs First?

March 28, 2024 — A new economic analysis in JAMA Network Open brings unsurprising news: manufacturing costs for GLP-1 agonists are a tiny fraction of the price for these important medicines. This is always the case for innovative prescription drugs that must recover billions of dollars of development costs in order to be profitable. The response from policy makers […]

Opening Medicare to Semaglutide for Obesity and Heart Disease

March 22, 2024 — This is a striking change. Until now, the steadfast refusal of CMS to allow coverage of any obesity medicine by Medicare has been unwavering. Then two weeks ago, FDA granted a new indication for semaglutide for persons with both heart disease and obesity to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and deaths. Now CMS says it’s A-OK […]

Public Pressure Building for Access to Obesity Medicines

December 14, 2023 — New research from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation offers a pretty clear picture. The research team sums it up succinctly. “Medicare doesn’t cover obesity drugs, but 76% of older adults think it should.” Yes, public pressure is building for access to obesity medicines. Survey Research of Adults 50 to 80 […]

As Zepbound Launches, Will Access to Obesity Meds Improve?

December 6, 2023 — The Zepbound brand of tirzepatide is now available in U.S. pharmacies. This is a big deal because this launch marks the emergence of serious competition for advanced obesity medicines. Even (or perhaps especially) in healthcare, money indeed makes the world go around and one of the best checks on greed is competition. So as Zepbound […]

The Intense Battle Over U.S. Drug Pricing and PBMs

July 26, 2023 — An intense battle is rumbling along in the courts and in the United States Congress and it’s all about drug pricing. The pharmaceutical industry enjoys considerable flexibility in drug prices for the U.S. Because of this, branded, patent-protected drugs are five times more expensive in the U.S. than in other nations with advanced economies. Change […]

Will Broader Access Beget Lower Prices for Obesity Meds?

July 10, 2023 — In thoughtful reporting for Fortune, Rachel Shin explores the possibility for broader access to advanced obesity meds leading to lower prices. But it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg puzzle because it might be more likely that lower prices will lead to broader access. Novopoly Shin calls it a Novopoly. Novo Nordisk invested billions of dollars […]

Botox, Knee Replacements, and Obesity Meds

October 3, 2022 — Health insurers, including Medicare, are regarding obesity meds like Botox Cosmetic, when they should be thinking of them more like a knee replacement. This observation, from a report by Jamy Lee in MarketWatch, sums up the challenge for people seeking obesity care in a health system that pays for the complications of untreated obesity, but […]