Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, March 18, 2016

Photo credit: e-Magine Art/Creative Commons


1. OptumRx, UnitedHealth Group's pharmacy benefit manager, said it signed an agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance that will allow OptumRx customers to fill 90-day prescriptions at Walgreens stores for mail delivery prices. Such prices are usually lower than retail prices.  CVS Health and Express Scripts have similar programs in place. (Reuters)


2. Howard Dorfman, Turing Pharmaceuticals' former general counsel, told a Senate committee that the price hike of toxoplasmosis treatment Daraprim "was certainly unjustified." He also said he was fired after expressing concerns about the price increase. (AP)


3. The White House is expected to name Greg Simon as the executive director of the “moonshot” cancer initiative. Simon is a former senior vice president for patient engagement at Pfizer and a former CEO of Poliwogg, which invests in life sciences companies. (NYT)


4. The developers of Cardiogram, a consumer heart rate-tracking Apple Watch app, designed a study to see if the app can detect atrial fibrillation. They are working with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. (WSJ)


5. Medicare beneficiaries faced higher rates of coinsurance in 2015 than 2014. A new analysis found that 58% of Part D covered drugs were subject to coinsurance and not copays. (Kaiser Health News)