Healthcare Economics & Policy

Since taking over as Medtronic’s CEO, Omar Ishrak has focused on three goals: improving innovation, expanding into emerging markets and becoming a leader in value-based health care, according to a Barron’s article. A Jefferies analyst called Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien earlier this year a “bold move” and said “Ishrak changed the ethos of the company.”

Boston Scientific announced on Oct. 8 that it had provided additional financing for MValve Technologies, a company that is developing a percutaneous mitral valve replacement system. Boston Scientific said it has an exclusive option to acquire MValve Technologies, a privately held corporation founded in 2011 with operations in San Diego and Herezeliya, Israel.

St. Jude Medical completed its acquisition of Thoratec on Oct. 8, expanding its heart failure business and adding products such as the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device.

Express Scripts announced it would include the two recently FDA-approved proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors on its national preferred formulary, which covers approximately 25 million people in the U.S.

On Oct. 29 in Oakland, members of the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) are expected to discuss and debate a report on the cost effectiveness of two recently FDA-approved heart failure treatments.

Hundreds of hospitals and health systems may have settled with the U.S. Justice Department in a probe into the overuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), according to a Modern Healthcare report.

A newly FDA-approved drug to treat congestive heart failure is cost-effective, while a device to treat the same disease is priced 60 percent higher than it should be, according to an Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) analysis. The researchers noted the two interventions could become the first breakthroughs in heart failure management in more than a decade.

An Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) analysis found that the price that best represents the benefits of newly FDA-approved proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors should be approximately two-thirds lower than the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of the medications.

Even as pharmaceutical companies develop safer and more effective drugs, the costs of those medications are becoming a concern for healthcare executives, hospitals, payers and patients.

For the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, Medtronic’s revenue increased 12 percent compared with the same time period last year thanks to an extra week in the quarter and its acquisition of Covidien, according to earnings results announced by the company.

More than 70 percent of Americans believe drug prices are unreasonable and nearly 25 percent have trouble paying for their prescription medications, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released on Aug. 20.

A recent analysis painted an optimistic view on Medicare, a program that is divisive among politicians, healthcare professionals and the general public.