Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thursday Potpourri

To commemorate the introduction of the generic version of Lipitor, a bipartisan group of three Senators has sent letters to Lipitor's manufacturer, Pfizer, three major PBMs, and two insurers "after a news report alleged Pfizer agreed to provide discounts to pharmaceutical benefit management companies (PBMs) and insurance companies if the PBMs and the insurers would block prescriptions for Lipitor’s generic equivalent."

For the next sixth months, we are in the transitional period where a limited number of generic manufacturers can offer generic Lipitor. After that six months, the FEHBlog believes that there is little that Pfizer can do to keep the generic genie in the bottle. The Wall Street Journal offered a user's guide to generic Lipitor. reports that the House of Representatives has passed on a bipartisan vote a package of reforms to the federal workers compensation program (FECA).  A similar bill is moving through the Senate. These would be the first major FECA program changes in 40 years, if enacted by both Houses.

Business Insurance reports that health care firms, such as hospitals, are particularly vulnerable to security breaches
because of factors that include stringent federal and state regulations, widespread dissemination of patient data and a growing black market for patient medical information.
At CNA Financial Corp., for instance, health care represents about 25% of the data breach insurance business written but 60% of all claims, said Mark Silvestri, Quincy, Mass.-based vp of product development and director of CNA's NetProtect.
The publication also featured an article on best security practices.  The National Institute of Standards and Technologies offers a dandy set of security guidance known as the 800 Series Special Publications.  Publication 800-122 is a guide to protecting the confidentiality of personally identifiable information. Good stuff.

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