Among FDA’s priorities for 2016 is reevaluating regulations on prescription drug marketing – likely reflecting, in part, mounting legal questions about FDA’s ability to regulate off-label promotion.
Speaking of FDA, the agency recently issued a policy urging employees to “use social media technologies to enhance communication, collaboration and information exchange in support of FDA’s mission to protect and promote public health.” Which might elicit some guffaws from pharma marketers trying to use social media within the constraints of FDA policy.
Insurers offering plans through the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace are dangling free doctor visits as a differentiator. They’re also looking for ways to get patients to use their new insurance amid mounting indications that many defer care for cost reasons – and in a value-driven world, they need to head off problems early, when they’re less expensive. Healthcare.gov saw strong growth in enrollments this year – at least in part because the penalties for the uninsured begin to bite in 2016 (though there’s anecdotal evidence that many will eat the fine rather than buy insurance they see as too expensive). But the ACA still faces challenges – here’s the problem areas to watch this year.
Medicare is cracking down on health systems that fail to update their doctor directories. For consumers seeking to understand if their preferred provider is in network, “it’s the Wild West.”
The poster boys of price hikes, Martin Shkreli and J. Michael Pearson, may beindisposed for the time being, but the consensus is that pressure on pharmas over drug prices willpersist in 2016 regardless.