Reuters reports that The White House weighed in last week on the competing legislative proposals to create a regulatory pathway for bio-similar (or bio-generic drugs). The White House recommended to the House leadership that a seven year period of patent protection for brand name biologic drugs would provide an adequate return on the invested capital. The biologic drug manufacturers have been arguing for 12 to 14 years of patent protection (H.R. 1548).and Rep. Henry Waxman (D Cal), whose name is linked to the 1984 law that created that regulatory pathway for generic versions of chemically based drugs, has proposed five years (H.R. 1427). Pharmtimes reports that "Rep Waxman said in a statement that the Administration “has made clear that the President does not support the lengthy monopoly periods sought by the drug industry and instead wants a bill, as I do, that will bring real competition and will not unduly prolong the monopolies on biotech drugs.”
The Commonwealth Fund issued a report with recommendations on how to implement the medical home concept in the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program. The report is based on the experiences of ten states which have experimented with this concept.
- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality announced on Friday its "annual release of State-by-State quality data continues to give States mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ's 2008 State Snapshots show that no State does well or poorly on all quality measures."
The states in the upper Midwest, e.g., Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, continue to receive high marks. The states along the Gulf Coast, e.g., Texas, Louisiana. Mississippi, continue to receive low marks. Interestingly, Massachusetts moved to a "strong rating" from high average. Rhode Island and New Hampshire also have that high marks in New England. Massachusetts of course has been implementing universal health insurance.
The AHRQ press release explains that
The State Snapshots are an invaluable resource for State officials, health
care providers and purchasers to help them better understand the extent of
health care quality and disparities in their States," said AHRQ Director Carolyn
M. Clancy, M.D. "With this information, they can take the necessary steps to
improve health care quality and address persistent gaps in access to health
The 2008 State Snapshots summarize health care quality in three dimensions:
type of care (preventive, acute and chronic care), setting of care (hospitals,
ambulatory, nursing homes and home health care) and by clinical areas (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, maternal and child health and respiratory disease). The 2008 State Snapshots allow users to explore whether a State has improved or
worsened compared with other States in several areas of health care