5 must-reads on drug costs, spending

Here are five articles recently published by Becker's Hospital Review that offer insights on hospital drug spending, new pricing models and more.

1. Patient rations drug after price jumps to $375K
Firdapse, a formerly inexpensive drug that treats a rare autoimmune disorder, received a new annual $375,000 price tag in December, prompting one patient to begin rationing the medication that enables her to walk.

2. 6 hospital drug-spending facts from the Federation of American Hospitals
Seven pharma executives will testify Feb. 26 before a U.S. Senate Finance Committee investigating the reasons for escalating prescription drug costs. Before the finger-pointing begins, the Federation of American Hospitals released a fact sheet on drug cost findings. The fact sheet is based on a recent study that examined hospital drug spending.

3. Drug spending could grow at a rate of 6.1% annually by 2020
The amount the U.S. spends on prescription drugs is expected to grow at an accelerated rate in the next 10 years. By 2020, spending on prescription drugs is projected to grow as much as 6.1 percent annually, according to an estimate published by the CMS Office of the Actuary.

4. 'Netflix' model for pricing hep. C drugs expected to lower patient costs by 85% in Australia
Using the Netflix-style payment model for purchasing hepatitis C drugs is expected to lower patient costs in Australia by 85 percent, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

5. AstraZeneca has agreed to a pay-for-performance deal with UPMC Health Plan
AstraZeneca has agreed to a pay-for-performance deal with UPMC Health Plan. Under the deal, UPMC Health plan will pay for AstraZeneca's blood thinner Brilinta based on how well patients respond. If Brilinta, used in patients who have suffered a heart attack, fails to prevent another attack within 12 months, UMPC will pay less for the drug. If Brilinta prevents a heart attack in the 12-month period, the health plan will pay more for the drug.

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