Top 5 Most-Read Non-COVID-19 Articles of 2020

Samara Rosenfeld

The top five non-COVID-19-related news articles published on Managed Healthcare Executive® in 2020.

While a large focus of 2020 was on developments with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Managed Healthcare Executive® made sure to stay on top of other healthcare-related news.

Here are the five most-read non-COVID-19-related articles published in 2020.

5. Real-World Data: Psoriatic Arthritis Patients Stay on Cosentyx After Other Options Fail

A team of investigators found Cosentyx had a high persistence rate among patients with psoriatic arthritis who were familiar with other biologics. Use of Cosentyx led to improvements in peripheral arthritis, axial involvement, enthesitis, and dactylitis. Study evidence supported the idea that Cosentyx can help patients who did not benefit from other treatments.

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4. Medicare Part D Formularies Actually Do Encourage Use of Generics, Say Researchers

Stacie G. Dusetzina and a team of investigators looked at 1,361 generic drugs that had an exact match to a brand-name drug in 2019. They found 84% of the time, plans had generic-only coverage, and 15% of the time both the brand-name and generic versions were covered. The findings suggested a majority of Part D plan formularies were designed to “encourage the use of generic drugs rather than their brand-name counterparts,” Dusetzina and the team wrote. Investigators found 125 products where the brand-name drug was placed on a lower cost-sharing tier than the generic equivalent in at least one plan, 652 where brand-name and generic equivalents were on the same tier, and 1.334 where the generics were on a lower cost-sharing tier than their brand-name counterparts.

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3. The Next Generation of PBMs: New Technology, Simpler Business Model and More Transparency

Perry Cohen, CEO, The Pharmacy Group, suggested pharmacy benefit management will change dramatically over the next five years. New technology will emerge and be leveraged by the consumer to access information about drug pricing, benefits, and pharmacy selection in real time. Fixed all-inclusive administrative fees will likely help ensure that employers realize the full savings from their pharmacy benefit manager. Further, transparent pricing will let employers know where their money is being spent and saved.

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2. Jeffrey Brenner Is Leaving UnitedHealth To Return To Primary Care Roots

Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., the founder of Camden Coalition and an active pioneer of programs for vulnerable populations, left his job at UnitedHealth Group to open his own primary care clinic in southern New Jersey. Brenner told Managed Healthcare Executive® his true love was always primary care. At UnitedHealth, he helped identify people who went to the emergency departments often and were high and expensive healthcare users. His group offered preventive services to address their illnesses and reduce their use of such services.

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1. Bhatt: Vascepa Cuts Need for Surgeries to Restore Blood Flow

The fish oil pill Vascepa cut the need for surgery to restore blood flow to the heart by one-third. Data from the REDUCE-IT trial demonstrated those taking Vascepa cut the risk of their first surgery by 34% and all surgeries by 36%. When added with the results of data presented at AHA in November 2019, the two data sets “allow for advancing insight into the connectivity between the mechanism of action and clinical outcomes of icosapent ethyl,” study author Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School, said.

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