Price volatility continues for neb-meds

Monday, April 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Xopenex and DuoNeb reimbursement shot up for the second quarter of 2007, according to the latest average sales price figures.
Xopenex rose 36 cents a dose to $3.84 and DuoNeb continued its slow climb, rising 10 cents a dose to $1.15. Albuterol rose 4 cents a dose to 20 cents but ipratropium dropped 4 cents to 17 cents a dose.
While the numbers are trending upward, one analyst speculated that larger national providers may drive down prices by buying in large volume.
"The smaller guys are the only ones buying it at the higher price," said the analyst.
With CMS's surprise announcement March 21 that it would no longer pay for compounded nebulizer meds as of July 1, the ongoing volatility in the market is expected to continue, insiders say.
In December, CMS began a review of levalbuterol in the treatment of COPD, which in turn delayed a decision on whether brand-name drugs should be reimbursed at generic rates.