Friday, July 22, 2005

Asthma News: Advair Stays on Market, Florida Covers Pulmicort

Two key news stories y'all should be up on:

FDA panel recommends asthma drugs remain on market

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee unanimously recommended
Wednesday that three asthma medications, one of which is GlaxoSmithKline's
top-selling drug, remain on the market. But the committee urged more research to
determine whether the medications might actually worsen asthma in certain
The FDA had asked the panel to review the safety of Glaxo's
Serevent and blockbuster Advair — a combination product containing Serevent and
a corticosteroid — and Novartis' Foradil, which belongs to the same class of
drugs as Serevent.

Medicaid to pay for asthma drug mistakenly left off list
The children's drug was not included until doctors and parents complained.

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's Medicaid program will begin paying for an asthma medicine needed by thousands of children, responding to a mistake that had left the drug off a new list of covered medications.Under a new law that took effect this month, the Medicaid program redrew its list of drugs it will pay for, in most cases only putting on the list drugs made by companies that will give the state a bulk discount.

Doctors can get approval to prescribe off the list -- but some have said it can be a cumbersome task and could be dangerous because doctors may first try drugs on the list that may not work on that particular patient.

When the new list was drawn up, an asthma treatment for children called Pulmicort Respules was left off, meaning doctors who wanted to prescribe it would have to get prior approval.

Can you imagine if Pulmicort wasn't covered? I swear, we would have been on welfare if we'd had to pay for that every month!

No comments: