Friday, September 25, 2015


The FEHBlog expected that there would be no government shutdown on October 1, and mark the tape the Washington Post reports today follow the Speaker of the House John Boehner's unexpected resignation,  "House Republicans said there was agreement to pass a clean spending bill to avert a government shutdown." Presumably this decision is aligned with the Senate Republican leadership's plan to vote for a continuing resolution that would expire on December 11 as reported by Federal News Radio.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R Calif) is expect to be the new Speaker on November 1.

The Wall Street Journal reminded the FEHBlog that there finally is a biosimilar drug on sale in the U.S. -- Zarxio which can be used in place of Amgen's blockbuster Neupogen anti-infection drug for cancer patients. Zarxio has been sold in Europe since 2009 but this is the first year that Zarxio has outsold Neupogen across the pond. The Journal strikes a hope chord:
[T]here is reason to believe that the uptake of biosimilars could follow a smoother trajectory in the U.S. Kate Keeping, senior director of biosimilars research at Decision Resource Group, a health-care research firm, said U.S. physicians she had surveyed were more familiar with biosimilars than European physicians were before biosimilars were launched there. “It’s less likely that you’re going to see restrictions on uptake due to physicians being hesitant,” she said.
OPM did not announced the FEHBP 2016 premiums this week (as of 12:40 pm).  The FEHBlog can't remember when the new rates were announced in October but here are a few days left in September.    

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