Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend update

Well this week will feature several big events -- The President is expected to release his proposal to merge the Senate and House healthcare reform bills tomorrow according to the New York Times; the House Federal Workforce Subcommittee will hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon about its Chairman's bill (HR 4489) to regulate prescription drug pricing in the FEHBP, and the President's healthcare reform summit will take place on Thursday.

As prescription benefit managers ("PBMs") will be under scrutiny at Tuesday's hearing, let me point out a worthy endeavor of those companies -- promoting personalized medicine.  Business Insurance reports about Medco's effort to use genetic testing to accurately dose the blood thinner wayfarin and tamoxifin, a drug used to treat cancer. What's more

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Caremark Corp. is preparing to introduce a similar program in May after acquiring a majority stake in Generation Health Inc., a genetic benefit management company in Upper Saddle River, N.J. The companies last fall formed a strategic partnership to expand pharmacogenomic clinical and testing services for CVS Caremark PBM clients to improve care for patients who either don't respond to their medications or have adverse reactions.
It's also worth noting a Federal Times column by Reg Jones which discusses how different types of federal annuities affect eligibility for annuitant coverage under the FEHBP.

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