Weekend ICYMI: May 6 to May 10

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In case you missed it, this week we had news about pharmacy issues in the election spotlight, advancements in psychedelic therapeutics, prior authorization, and more.

Q&A: How The 2024 Election Looms Large Over Pharmacy

Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf, Vice President and Solution Leader, Federal and State Policy at ADVI Health, sat down with Drug Topics at AXS24, the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, to discuss the pressing issues that are pharmacists are facing ahead of the 2024 presidential election. One of the biggest issues pharmacists are watching is the Medicare Part D redesign and copay smoothing policy.

Voting booths at polling station / vesperstock - stock.adobe.com

Voting booths at polling station / vesperstock - stock.adobe.com

Ascension Hospitals Face Disruptions from Suspected Cyberattack

Ascension, one of the largest health care systems in the United States, detected disruptions in its technology network systems on Wednesday due to a suspected “cybersecurity event.” Although the extent of the disruption and its damage are currently unknown, the company was forced to shut down several of its systems across the country to ensure the safety of patient information.

FDA Delays Decision on Moderna’s RSV Vaccine

The FDA has delayed its decision on Moderna’s investigational respiratory syncytial virus vaccine due to administrative constraints, the biotechnology company announced in a release. The federal agency said that it expects to complete a review of the Biologics License Application for mRNA-1345 by the end of May, instead of the original Prescription Drug User Fee Act date of May 12.

Psilocybin Treatment for PTSD Shows Positive Topline Results in Phase 2 Study

A synthesized formulation of the psychedelic psilocybin (COMP360) has shown positive topline results in a phase 2 trial evaluating its safety and tolerability for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, Compass Pathways announced in a release. In the open-label, multi-center, phase 2 safety study (NCT05312151), psilocybin met its primary safety endpoint of proportion of patients with adverse events at 12 weeks, and its secondary efficacy endpoints of change in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 from baseline and Sheehan Disability Scale total score from baseline.

Widespread PA Use in Medicare Advantage Restricts Health Care Utilization

A large portion of Medicare Part B fee-for-service spending and utilization would have been subject to prior authorization (PA) based on the PA policies of Medicare Advantage insurers, according to a new study. The findings support the authors’ previous research that PA is widespread within the private insurance landscape.

They highlighted that PA is a controversial tool that insurers use to assess the necessity of a service before it is approved and provided. “As with other utilization management techniques used by insurers, PA could serve to curb wasteful spending if it discourages care that is of low value,” the authors wrote.

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