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Episode 52: Our Take, June 3, 2019

Jun 03, 2019


In this week’s episode, John reviews Novartis’ new gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, priced at more than $2.1 million. ICER, a nonprofit research institute that evaluates the cost effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, said Novartis’ price is within the upper bound of the organization’s value-based price benchmark range.

Briefs include:

  • A broad bipartisan draft health care legislation package containing dozens of provisions was recently released by the Senate Health Committee.
  • Forcing oncology practices to take on downside risk in CMS’ Oncology Care Model in July could result in more than half of them owing the government.
  • UnitedHealth Group pointed to price variations for diagnostic tests as a potential way to reduce overspending.
  • Mallinckrodt plans to spin off its specialty generics business to shareholders.
  • The FDA’s recent approval of Novartis’ Piqray (alpelisib).
  • FDA clears a new wearable device to treat migraine.
  • Biogen is scrapping its investigational treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and is canceling its Phase III ENGAGE and EMERGE clinical trials.

In this episode

John Marchica

John Marchica is a veteran health care strategist and CEO of Darwin Research Group. He was the founder and CEO of FaxWatch, a leading business intelligence and medical education company and two-time member of the Inc. 500 list of America's fastest growing companies.

John is the author of The Accountable Organization and has advised senior management on strategy and organizational change for more than a decade. John earned his B.A. in economics from Knox College, an MBA and M.A. in public policy from The University of Chicago, and completed his Ph.D. coursework and doctoral exams in clinical epidemiology and health economics at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He is a faculty associate in the W.P. Carey School of Business and the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.

About Darwin Research Group

Darwin Research Group Inc. provides advanced market intelligence and in-depth customer insights to health care executives, with a strategic focus on health care delivery systems and the global shift toward value-based care. Darwin’s client list includes forward-thinking biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as health care providers, private equity, and venture capital firms. The company was founded in 2010 as Darwin Advisory Partners, LLC and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. with a satellite office in Princeton, N.J.


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