Industry News: Volume 10, Issue 18


More drugmakers hike U.S. prices as new year begins

By Michael Erman –  Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N), Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O), and Biogen Inc (BIIB.O) hiked U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs on Wednesday, bringing total New Year’s Day drug price increases to more than 250, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that drugmakers including Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L) and Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) were planning to increase prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States on Jan. 1.

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Cadillac and Other ACA Taxes Repealed; PCORI Extended – The President has signed 2020 spending legislation (the 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act), repealing three Affordable Care Act (ACA) related taxes: the 40% “Cadillac” Tax on high-cost employer provided health coverage, a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, and the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) on fully-insured plans.

Another ACA change in the package includes an extension of the annual employer fee for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

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Infectious disease expert to clinicians on coronavirus: Just ask patients one question 
by Joanne Finnegan – Anthony Fauci, M.D., has some simple advice for clinicians faced with a patient with respiratory symptoms and a fever—the signs of coronavirus.

“Just ask them a question: ‘Have you been in China recently?’” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, in a JAMA podcast.

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The deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread to the US — authorities have confirmed a case in Washington state

by Aria Bendix and Hilary Brueck – A mysterious virus that originated in China has spread to the United States: A case has been identified in Washington state.

Test results confirmed over the weekend that a man in his 30s who lives in Snohomish County, north of Seattle, contracted the virus after visiting China, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday.

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All in the Timing: Many Get Knee Replacement Too Late or Too Soon

By Robert Preidt – It’s a question many aging Americans face: Is it time to replace my aching knee, or should I wait?

New research suggests that for far too many patients, the procedure is done either too late or too soon.

Much of the success of knee replacement surgery for knee osteoarthritis depends on timing, but a team at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found that 90% of patients who could benefit from the procedure waited too long to have it, while about 25% of patients who didn’t need it underwent the procedure too soon.

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hapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; 23 January 2020: Calvander Communication, LLC, publishers of Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody’s Guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Tourism, today announced publication of the updated and expanded Fourth Edition of the world’s best-selling consumer guide to medical tourism and international health travel.   As millions of Americans drift into financial crisis due to an unaffordable medical treatment, this impartial, easy-to-navigate trade print and ebook reference provides cross-border health travelers a trusted road map to safe, cost-effective decisions about traveling abroad for healthcare.   In 2020, more than two million US patients will cross borders for medical care, up more than tenfold from just a decade ago. “Costs have become unbearable for some 86 million uninsured or underinsured Americans,” says author Josef Woodman. “US patients who would otherwise undergo treatment at home are now driven in droves to seek affordable medical options in other countries.”  

Readers gain concise information on how to make safe, informed decisions about their treatment, while saving 30-80% on medical procedures. Some 800 hospital and clinics in 70 countries around the world are now US-accredited, offering patients a wide range of treatment options. Patients Beyond Borders remains the best-read, most comprehensive, accessible medical tourism guide, authored by the world’s leading spokesperson on international health travel.

Key 2020 medical tourism trends:

  • The international medical travel market is expanding at ~15-18% annually, with rising costs of treatment and aging millennials driving the growth.
  • Americans seeking inexpensive pharmaceuticals for complex conditions are beginning to explore destinations such as Mexico and Thailand, where programs have been created to serve healthcare consumers burdened by ever-increasing US drug prices (e.g. another 5% hike in 2020). Expensive drugs sought by patients are for cancer, Hepatitis C and spinal conditions such as osteoporosis).
  • Fewer inbound patients are visiting US medical centers for care, in favor of culturally compatible, friendlier venues closer to home. Thailand, Singapore, Korea and Malaysia are the big beneficiaries. China is a big exception as Chinese patients flood US medical centers for complex treatment of cancers and other environmentally driven disease.

About the Author

As CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, Josef Woodman has spent 14 years advocating for patient choice in quality, affordable medical care. He has toured more than 250 medical facilities in 35 countries, researching and vetting international healthcare options. Co-founder of MyDailyHealth (1998) and Ventana Communications (1987), Woodman’s pioneering background in publishing, health and technology has allowed him to compile a wealth of data and knowledge about international medical care, telemedicine, wellness, integrative medicine and consumer-directed healthcare.

Woodman has lectured at the UCLA School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Duke Fuqua School of Business, Scientific American and the International Society for Travel Medicine. He has keynoted and moderated conferences on medical tourism and global healthcare in 20 countries. He has appeared in numerous print and broadcast media, including The Economist, The New York Times, CNN, ABC News, China Daily, Fox News, Huffington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Wall Street Journal, and more.

About Patients Beyond Borders

Founded in 2005 and based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Patients Beyond Borders, dba Calvander Communications, Inc. is primarily a publisher of books and related information on international healthcare travel. The company offers custom, collaborative programs and consulting services designed to help global healthcare stakeholders extend visibility and branding within the international medical community, attract more patients, expand online search and credibility, and assist with strategic planning.

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