Pharmacy Week in Review: Plan Proposed to Require Drug Prices in TV Ads, Study Links Obesity to Colon Cancer in Women

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.


Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

Officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week proposed a requirement that prescription drug manufacturers post the Wholesale Acquisition Cost for drugs covered in Medicare or Medicaid in direct-to-consumer television advertisements, Pharmacy Times reported. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the plan during a speech at the National Academy of Medicine. Officials with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association said in a statement that they plan to request member companies’ direct-to-consumer television advertisements to direct patients to information about medicine costs, including the list price of the medicine, out-of-pocket costs or other context about the potential cost of the medicine and available financial assistance. Association officials said that the biopharmaceutical industry will also launch a platform that will provide patients, caregivers, and providers with cost and financial assistance information for brand-name medicines, as well as other patient support resources.

The results of an online survey indicate a significant disconnect in communication between patients and providers regarding bacterial vaginosis, or BV, Contemporary Clinic reported. BV affects 21 million women each year in the United States and is one of the most prevalent gynecologic infections. According to the survey results, further education is needed to bridge the gap in communication and would help women to obtain diagnosis and treatment initiation sooner. Although 63% of surveyed patients said that their health care providers discussed general information about BV, just 34% said that they discussed the risks associated with BV if left untreated. Conducted by Lupin Pharmaceuticals in a partnership with the American Sexual Health Association and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health the survey and its results were presented last week, during the NPWH Premier Women’s Health Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Obesity and weight gain in early adulthood may be associated with an increased risk of early-onset colorectal cancer or CRC in women under the age of 50, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology and reported on by Specialty Pharmacy Times. In the United States, CRC incidence and mortality among younger adults has been steadily increasing for reasons unknown. The study investigators aimed to determine whether obesity and weight gain could be potential contributors to an increased risk of early-onset CRC in this population. According to the study results, women with the highest body mass index, defined as a BMI greater than 30, had almost twice the risk of early-onset CRC compared with women with the lowest BMIs, defined as 18.5 to 22.9.