PBM execs say competition, biosimilars are solutions to lowering drug prices

Healthcare Finance | April 09, 2019

As the Ways and Means Committee today unanimously advanced prescription drug pricing legislation, the Senate Finance Committee both told and asked executives from five of the country's largest pharmacy benefit managers what should be done to lower costs. The executives from Cigna, CVS Health and Caremark, Humana, OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics, all said more drug competition is needed, and a faster introduction of biosimilars. When there's more competition, PBMs can bring down drug prices, they said. Currently biosimilars are held up in the law, said Dr. Steve Miller, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Cigna, which late last year completed its acquisition of PBM Express Scripts. The period of exclusivity needs to be shortened, said Miller, a former executive for Express Scripts. When biosimilars come to the market, Cigna and Express Scripts often take great advantage to lower the cost of drugs, he said.

Spotlight

Telehealth is transforming the way people receive health care across the United States. With recent advances in broadband coverage and affordable equipment, it is rapidly becoming integrated into primary care, specialty services, and complex health systems. However, many people are still unsure what it is, what quality of care it can provide, and how it could apply to their own health or community.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Philips advances AI-powered diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions at RSNA 2022

Royal Philips | November 28, 2022

Royal Philips a global leader in health technology announced its portfolio of smart diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions featured at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting. Powered by AI, the company will showcase its latest systems and informatics solutions designed for providers to efficiently deliver patient-centric, high-quality imaging services. Overwhelming volume of radiology data compounding staff shortages and burnout Radiology plays a critical role in diagnosing and guiding patients into the right treatment plans. However, with increasing staff shortages and workloads, radiologists and staff continue to struggle to manage and interpret the huge volume of data captured to provide quality care for each patient. In the recent Future Health Index 2022 report commissioned by Philips, 24% of radiology leaders surveyed stated that managing the sheer volume of data available to them is their top data-related issue, with nearly two-thirds (65%) indicating their staff are overwhelmed by data overload. “With 47% of radiologists experiencing burnout [1], our customers are looking for innovations to help reduce their workloads and seamlessly integrate into their day-to-day operations. With smart intelligence built into imaging systems and informatics across the radiology workflow, Philips’ integrated solutions condense large volumes of data into patient-centric actionable insights for earlier and more definitive diagnosis and treatment.” Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader of Precision Diagnosis at Philips AI-powered solutions enhance operational efficiencies and simplify complex workflows Some of the biggest challenges facing radiology leaders today are driven by managing complex, disconnected workflows which can negatively impact patient care, staff experience, outcomes, and cost. Visitors to the Philips booth at RSNA will see how the company’s latest interoperable and vendor-neutral operational solutions and strong portfolio of smart connected imaging systems help streamline and transform the radiology workflow to improve patient and staff experience; advance clinical and diagnostic confidence for better health outcomes; and drive a sustainable, resilient diagnostic infrastructure to help lower the cost of care. Featured at RSNA will be Philips’ AI-enabled technology [2] that automates and accelerates routine and repetitive tasks to generate patient-centric insights from large volumes of data to help improve productivity. Solutions include Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC and Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live, both pioneering the virtualization of radiology, extending care and collaboration beyond traditional models. Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC, a vendor-neutral, multi-modality, multi-site telepresence solution provides advanced tele-acquisition capabilities and seamlessly connects imaging experts at a command center with technologists at scanning locations across an organization. Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live tele-ultrasound, available on Philips ultrasound systems – EPIQ Elite and Affiniti – allows teams to securely video stream from their ultrasound system to a PC or mobile device for remote, on-demand access to clinical expertise regardless of location. Philips will also introduce the latest in AI-enabled image interpretation to help prioritize patient worklists based on clinical outcomes and expand diagnostic capabilities with its new Philips Advanced Visualization Workspace, with enhanced features to automate reporting and help drive earlier and more definitive diagnosis. Also featured is Philips Enterprise Performance Analytics – PerformanceBridge – to enhance operational decision-making through a vendor-neutral, real-time data analysis solution to help improve productivity and reduce costs. Smart connected imaging systems advance clinical and diagnostic confidence New at RSNA, Philips’ AI-powered MR SmartSpeed is designed to increase speed, image quality, and productivity and drive diagnostic confidence with improved image resolution via the AI reconstruction algorithm. It utilizes Philips’ state-of-the-art speed engine and an award-winning [3] AI reconstruction technology delivered at the source of the MR signal to ensure no data loss. SmartSpeed joins the company’s expanding portfolio of AI-driven MR solutions which includes AI-based touchless patient sensing, SmartExam, and MR Workspace. Philips will also showcase MR 5300, Philips’ newest BlueSeal Magnet, and industry-first wide bore helium-free operations system design for sustainable imaging at lower site costs without image quality or clinical compromises. Philips will spotlight its award-winning Spectral CT 7500, the company’s latest dual-detector CT system helping radiologists better characterize disease and reduce scan times at the same dose levels as conventional scans. Used in oncology imaging, cardiac imaging, and interventional radiology, the system has demonstrated a 34% reduction in time to diagnosis, a 25% reduction in repeat scans and a 30% reduction in follow-up scans [4]. Philips will also demonstrate its latest innovations in minimally-invasive care with the company’s SmartCT 3D suite of interventional tools including its Azurion 7 C20 with FlexArm Image-Guided Therapy System and Zenition 70 Mobile C-arm with Flat Detector. Philips will also introduce the Ultrasound Compact 5000 Series system and the Philips Lumify Handheld Ultrasound, now featuring pulse wave Doppler for all physicians – from cardiologists and radiologists to emergency care – to quickly assess hemodynamics in cardiac function anytime, anywhere. Also making its first appearance at RSNA is Philips Fluoroscopy 7000 N – ProxiDiagnost N90, combining digital radiography and high-end nearby fluoroscopy to help enhance clinical confidence and improve patient and staff satisfaction. About Royal Philips Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Annuo Med Tech Solutions Enters Partnership Agreement with WeKo GP

Annuo Medical Technology Solutions Pty Ltd | October 17, 2022

New health networking platform, Annuo™, has entered a working agreement with WeKo GP to assist with the identification and treatment of patients with chronic disease in Australia. This key partnership will facilitate the management of people living with chronic disease by General Practice teams using WeKo and Annuo™. WeKo’s Clinical System solution launched in 2019 and provides proactive chronic disease screening and detection based on patient medical data. “We believe our solutions are highly complementary and have the ability to offer an amazing patient and clinician experience,” commented WeKo Founder, Ross Hadfield. “We are excited to announce a trial partnership between Annuo and WeKo GP which will open up more possibilities for Annuo™ to help the 10.8M Australians currently living with chronic disease,” Dr Jeni Wellington, Founder and CEO of Annuo Med Tech Solutions At a high-level, the partnership will facilitate the identification and treatment of patients at high risk of chronic disease, using the Annuo platform and WeKo’s Clinical System. It will ensure patients are engaged in the creation of an agreed care plan and that the clinical teams involved are fully supported. About Annuo Med Tech Annuo Med Tech Solutions is a new Australian digital health technology company developing Annuo - a healthcare networking platform for doctors, patients and allied health professionals. Annuo™, is the first medical networking platform in Australia designed by specialists. More than that, Annuo™ is advocating for collaborative care for patients living with chronic disease in Australia. With 47% of Australians today living with one or more chronic diseases, there has never been a better time to help improve the lives of everyday people trying to navigate their treatment. Annuo™ encourages people living with chronic disease to engage with their treatment in an holistic way. Annuo promotes collaborative care for patients and is inclusive of those seeking to make diet, exercise and alternate therapies as part of their treatment planning. Annuo™ will engage with healthcare providers and enable them to better connect with their patients through the digital health space. The platform comes fully customised for each medical specialty at a competitive price.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Abbott Receives Three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for Advancements in Health Technology

Abbott | November 21, 2022

Abbott has been recognized by the Consumer Technology Association with three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for its life-changing technologies that are advancing the health tech industry and improving the lives of people worldwide. The CTA is the organization behind the Consumer Electronics Show the most influential technology event in the world. Ahead of the CES 2023 event, three of Abbott's industry-leading tech advancements won CES 2023 Innovation Awards, all within the Digital Health award category Aveir VR Leadless Pacemaker – The world's only leadless pacemaker with a unique mapping capability to assess correct positioning prior to placement and designed to be completely retrievable. The system was developed by Abbott to treat patients with slow heart rhythms and eliminates wires used to deliver therapy in traditional pacemakers. Proclaim Plus SCS System – Abbott's latest advancement in neurostimulation therapy to treat chronic pain using low doses of targeted BurstDR™ stimulation that can be adjusted as a person's therapeutic needs evolve across up to six areas of the body, which is more pain sites in the body than ever before. Alinity m Monkeypox PCR test1 – A first of its kind, Abbott received FDA Emergency Use Authorization of its PCR test for detecting the monkeypox virus. The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes the year's most innovative products in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest-rated in each. Last year, Abbott became the first-ever healthcare company to keynote CES, and the company has received nine CES Innovation Awards in the past two years. Other Abbott products previously honored with CES Innovation Awards include FreeStyle Libre 32, the world's smallest, thinnest3 and most accurate4 14-day glucose sensor and a CES 2022 Best of Innovation Award winner; BinaxNOW™5, the #1 COVID-19 self test in the U.S.; and the UltreonTM 1.0 intravascular imaging and coronary physiology software platform, which helps guide and optimize stenting decisions, combining optical coherence tomography with artificial intelligence. In addition to the CES 2023 awards, Abbott also was recently recognized with other top honors for its healthcare technology including its revolutionary FreeStyle Libre technology being named the best medical technology in the last 50 years by the Galien Foundation. The FreeStyle Libre portfolio has transformed the lives of approximately 4.5 million people6 living with diabetes globally. About Abbott Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

VitalConnect Announces Investment from HCA Healthcare to Accelerate Commercial Growth and Create Strategic Partnership

VitalConnect, Inc. | September 13, 2022

VitalConnect®, Inc., a leader in remote and in-hospital wearable biosensor technology, announced the completion of an investment funded by Health Insight Capital, the investment arm of HCA Healthcare Inc. one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers. The investment will go toward further accelerating VitalConnect’s rapidly growing cardiac monitoring business segment while advancing key Remote Patient Monitoring of individuals who have experienced heart failure (HF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sepsis, among others. This funding support is expected to help VitalConnect continue bringing the most advanced technology to patients and providers. “This strategic investment from HCA Healthcare will further accelerate VitalConnect’s expansive growth and upward trajectory in the Cardiac Monitoring space. We’ve experienced unparalleled physician adoption and growth over the past 18 months since launch, and HCA Healthcare’s investment will enable us to continue bringing customers the most comprehensive remote patient monitoring platform.” Peter Van Haur, CEO, VitalConnect Founded in 2011, VitalConnect has deployed hundreds of thousands of biosensors throughout the world, including care facilities such as Brigham and Women’s, Hackensack Medical Center, Northwell Health, and John Radcliffe Hospital-Oxford University. The VitalPatch allows real-time remote or in-hospital monitoring, allowing physicians to optimize the delivery of care to their patients. About VitalConnect, Inc. VitalConnect is a leader in wearable biosensor technology for wireless patient monitoring in both hospital and remote patient populations. VitalConnect leverages extensive expertise in biomedical engineering, data analytics, chip design, and mobile and cloud software to create technology that supports decision-making paradigms that achieve better health and economic outcomes. VitalConnect’s products are designed for use in a broad range of inpatient and outpatient settings, such as hospital monitoring, post-discharge care, cardiac monitoring and pharmaceutical solutions. VitalConnect’s advanced yet easy-to-use platform, was designed to deliver better healthcare at lower costs while providing more convenience for the patients and healthcare providers.

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Spotlight

Telehealth is transforming the way people receive health care across the United States. With recent advances in broadband coverage and affordable equipment, it is rapidly becoming integrated into primary care, specialty services, and complex health systems. However, many people are still unsure what it is, what quality of care it can provide, and how it could apply to their own health or community.

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