Pharmacy Best Practices
What makes the high cost of a drug worth it? Does the intervention have to save a life? Or prevent the onset of a more expensive condition? Or add six months to patient survival? It's all in the eye of the beholder—whether you are a payer, patient or provider.
As health plans elect to cover a new FDA-approved vaccine that protects girls and women against strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), parents might wonder if it will be mandated by states as a routine immunization for girls at a certain age.
New drug delivery methods have potential to improve compliance through ease of use, but have brought up some new questions. Is reconfiguring an injected insulin into an inhaled version, for example, just a way to relaunch a product, or does the invention provide more than a "me-too" product?
Although as many as 48% of seniors were subject to some type of drug-coverage deficiency in 2006, only an estimated 4 million of the 22.5 million enrolled in Medicare drug plans were actually expected to hit the infamous donut hole. There could still be financial woes, however, for the 10.8 million Medicare beneficiaries who at least have the potential for out-of-pocket costs in the donut hole gap because they do not qualify for a subsidy, are not covered outside Part D, or did not pay for enhanced gap coverage.
Research has provided more support for the idea that differences do exist between the sexes. Since 2001, the interest seems to have waned. Called pharmacokinetics, it is the study of what the body does to a drug, not what the drug does to the body.
With about 2,000 genes now identified and more than 4,000 diseases caused by genetic defects, genetic screening is gaining ground. As it grows in acceptance by providers, patients and insurers, pharmacogenomics—the study of how one's genetic inheritance affects the body's response to drugs—is evolving. People will be able to determine if they are predisposed to a certain disease, and they will be able to find customized drugs adapted to their personal genetic makeup.