Friday, January 31, 2003

Calif. looks to ‘whack’ supplies reimbursement

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In order to help close a gigantic budget deficit, Gov. Gray Davis has proposed cutting $2 billion in healthcare spending, including eliminating Medicaid reimbursement for medical supplies. “We’re on the firing line, and it’s not friendly fire,” said Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Association of Medical Products Suppliers. California Medicaid reimburses $250 million a year for medical supplies, and with California facing a $34 billion deficit, industry efforts to spare supplies will be difficult. “I don’t think they’ll eliminate it, but they could whack it to the point that it is not profitable to be in the business,” Achermann said.
Two companies form respiratory med alliance

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and LONDON - Theravance and GlaxoSmithKline formed an alliance last month to develop and commercialize long-acting respiratory medications to treat asthma and COPD. GSK paid Theravance $50 million in stock and cash, but the payments could range up to $495 million as the two companies commercialize their joint efforts. One industry insider says 2003 will be a breakout year for long-acting respiratory medicines. “We’ve got new drugs coming out in the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year that’ll let patients dose twice a day instead of four times a day,” said Mickey Letson, president of Letco Medical.
Morbid obesity root of many health problems

WASHINGTON - Morbid obesity consumes 12% of America’s healthcare budget, according to Worldwatch Institute and the World Bank. By May 2000, the U.S. Social Security Administration estimated it paid $77 million monthly to 137,000 Americans who qualify as disabled because of morbid obesity.