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Anthem teams up with Walmart for OTC drugs

Anthem Inc. partnered with Walmart Inc. to launch a program in January 2019 that will allow the health benefit company’s Medicare Advantage plan customers to purchase over-the-counter medications from the retailer’s stores and website.

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Express Scripts staking out million dollar gene therapies

Express Scripts Holding Co. built a multi-billion enterprise pressuring drug companies to lower their prices for U.S. patients. Now the pharmacy benefit manager is quietly building a side business: getting paid to help drug companies dispense a new generation of high-priced drugs.

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Three drug-pricing controls emerge in U.S. market

As drug prices fall under increased scrutiny, payers and regulators are targeting some key initiatives that could change the dynamic of pharmacy benefit management over the next 12 months. These emerging trends point to potentially rougher terrain for drugmakers looking to increase market share as payers take a more active role in enforcing formularies.

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Amgen’s new migraine drug hits insurance hurdles

Amgen Inc.’s push to get patients on its new $575 a month migraine drug before competition emerges in September 2018 is facing barriers from insurers.

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UnitedHealth Q2 2018 medical costs miss estimates

UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported second-quarter medical costs slightly higher than Wall Street expectations, sending the largest U.S. health insurer’s shares down 4 percent and weighing on the rest of the sector.

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Justice Department Gives Go-Ahead To CVS, Aetna Deal

The U.S. Justice Department will not challenge the $69 million merger of CVS Health and health insurer Aetna.

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Insurers warn of rising premiums after Trump axes Obamacare payments again

Health insurers warned that a move by the Trump administration to temporarily suspend a program that was set to pay out $10.4 billion to insurers for covering high-risk individuals last year could drive up premium costs and create marketplace uncertainty.

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FDA chief questions protections on drug rebates, stocks fall

U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb questioned whether rebates that drugmakers provide to health insurers should remain protected by federal law, sparking new concerns on Wall Street over efforts to curb drug pricing.

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UnitedHealth Q1 2018 profit beats, raises full-year outlook

UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted first-quarter 2018 profit that beat estimates as the largest U.S. health insurer kept medical costs within expectations despite the added demand for services due to a strong flu season. UnitedHealth raised the group’s 2018 outlook.

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U.S. government sets 3.40 percent hike in 2019 payments to Medicare insurers

The U.S. government said it would increase by 3.4 percent on average 2019 payments to the health insurers that manage Medicare Advantage insurance plans for seniors and the disabled, a higher-than-expected rise reflecting a projection of higher medical cost growth.

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