Drug Companies Amping Up Use of Coupons to Compete with Generics

Coupons and discount cards are now available for 395 prescription medications, according to a recent report by IMS Health. A 2009 study reported coupons for only 86 different drugs. Prescription drug companies like AstraZeneca and Pfizer issue coupons that cover high, insurer-set co-pays, which aim to lead consumers to cheaper generics, reports the Washington Post. A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that Lipitor had a co-pay of $30, but went down to $4 a month with a coupon. The generic alternative, Simvastatin, cost $10 a month. As for the insurer, Lipitor cost $137 a… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.27.12)

Prime Healthcare Services  has purchased Dallas Medical Center, a 155-bed full service acute-care hospital in Farmers Branch.

Three North Texas companies have made Modern Healthcare’s “Healthcare’s Hottest” list.

Two Dallas clinics have been awarded $500,000 in grants under the GE Foundation’s Developing Health initiative.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on three healthcare cases. Full Story

AHA: Heart Attack Victims Who Take Common Pain Killers May Increase Chance of Death

According to the Dallas-based American Heart Association, heart attack victims who take common painkillers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription drugs such as Celebrex, run the risk of suffering a second heart attack, as well as an increased chance of death. “It is important to get the message out to clinicians taking care of patients with cardiovascular disease that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are harmful, even several years after a heart attack,” said Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, M.D. at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte at Denmark, in a statement. In the study, Schjerning Olsen and her colleagues found that 44 percent of patients… Full Story

UTSW Study: Aspirin Found to Lower Risk of Death from Prostate Cancer

Taking aspirin is associated with a lower risk of death from prostate cancer, especially in men with high-risk disease. Preclinical studies have shown that aspirin and other anticoagulation medications may inhibit cancer growth and metastasis. The findings of the multicenter study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Kevin Choe, assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern, is first author of the paper. The study looked at almost 6,000 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor database who had prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiotherapy. About 2,200 of the men involved, or 37… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.28.12)

A growing healthcare client base is sparking a hiring spree at Irving-based Aegis. The global outsourcing services company is adding 1,080 jobs at its Irving centers.

4G Biometrics and Methodist Richardson Medical Center are among the winners of the Metroplex Technology Business Council’s 2012 Tech Titans awards. UTA’s Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega and UTD’s Robert L. Robb also were among those honored. Here’s a complete rundown.

With the recent landmark Supreme Court decision, it’s no surprise that John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States, ranked No. 1 on Modern Healthcare’s 2012 “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” list. Three local CEOs also made the list. Find out who.

Southlake and Flower Mound have voted to approve aerial spraying to combat West Nile Virus. Denton, Carrollton, and Coppell are among the Denton County cities opting out. Here’s where things currently stand. Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.21.12)

Planned Parenthood to use $3 million donations after Komen flap for new breast health initiative. UT Southwestern named the official healthcare team of the Dallas Stars. Ten social media tips for docs. Drugmakers use coupons to fight generics.  

No Magic Pill for Prescription Non-adherence

Do you take your medications as you and your healthcare practitioner agreed to? Every day? Exactly as recommended? Surely, as people who work in and around healthcare, we take our medicine correctly—right? In a recent study of 40,000 adults, Express Scripts Inc. found that more than 90 percent of respondents agreed that taking medications as prescribed was important, and 81 percent felt that skipping doses had negative consequences. And interestingly, when ranking healthy behaviors, respondents said taking medications as prescribed was more important than quitting smoking or eating a healthy diet. So, why does the published literature report that on… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.27.12)

Texas Woman’s University of Dallas receives $452,500 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Medical City Children’s Hospital sees a baby boom in June, with births setting a 12-year record. Healthcare.gov launches tool to help consumers determine if their insurer is providing value for premiums under new 80/20 rule. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation is examining the “gray market” impact on drug shortages. The Advisory Board Co. releases fun infographic comparing Olympic athletes to average Americans. Plus: Who’s healthiest in a hospital—nurses, physicians, or patients?

When Collaboration and Innovation Collide

Innovation is one of the biggest buzzwords in healthcare for 2012. Innovation differs from both invention and improvement in a fundamental way. Invention is original creation of an idea, process, product, technology, etc. Improvement is doing this same thing better. Innovation refers to the notion of doing this existing thing not only better, but differently. In fact, the Latin word innovare means “to change.” Collaboration is yet another hot topic and can be used when discussing anything from bundled payments to patient-centered medical homes. Collaboration is not just working together, but it is a process where two or more organizations… Full Story

Annual Healthcare Cost for Dallas Families Tops $20,000

According to the 2012 Milliman Medical Index, the annual household cost of healthcare for a typical Dallas family has cracked the $20,000 mark. The Seattle-based actuarial and consulting firm annually calculates the total cost of care for a family of four enrolled in an employee-sponsored PPO plan. The $20,435 annual cost in Dallas was just below the U.S. estimate of $20,728. The national figure includes $12,144 in employer-cover insurance costs and $8,584 paid by the family—including $5,155 in insurance premiums paid by the employee whose family is covered by the plan, and $3,470 in out-of-pocket expenses. Dallas costs rose 7.1… Full Story