Trending News Today: Biosimilar Savings Lag Behind Expectations

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Savings reaped from the biosimilar Inflectra are less than impressive, reported NPR. Generally, generic drugs cost 80% less than brand name drugs, but according to data from Truven Health Analytics, the wholesale acquisition cost for Inflectra is $946 a vial, just 15% less than the $1113 for Remicade. In a meeting on Tuesday, Dr. Mark McClellan, director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, stated that although the discount is far from that of standard generic drugs, the 15% to 20% reduced cost for these expensive drugs is still a big number. However, the steady rise in cost for Remicade means that Inflectra, even at a 15% discount, will cost within range of the price tag for Remicade in 2014, reported NPR.

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children under 15-years-old only need 2 doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine instead of a 3-shot regimen. According to The Washington Post, the first of 2 doses of the HPV vaccine should be administered at the age of 11 or 12, although it could be given as early as age 9 under the new schedule. The second dose would be administered 6 to 12 months after the initial dose. This new recommendation follows studies that have shown a 2-shot dose works just as well as its 3-shot counterpart. Experts hypothesize that this simpler and more flexible schedule will result in higher rates of both boys and girls getting the HPV vaccination.

Despite premium cost increases and several departures from major insurers in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, the Obama administration expects monthly enrollment in marketplaces to rise. According to The New York Times, the administration expects monthly enrollment to average 11.4 million next year, which is a 9% increase from the monthly average this year.