BLUE CROSS: To Start Drug Review Company
At a time of soaring prescription drug costs, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association will launch an independent company to short circuit the pharmaceutical industry's marketing power, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new not-for-profit company, Rx-Intelligence, will collect and review information designed to help employers, insurers and consumer groups evaluate new drugs and compare the effectiveness of existing medicines. "We want to arm physicians, patients, employers and plans with information about the value of these pharmaceuticals," Scott Serota, acting president and CEO of the Blue Cross group -- whose members insure more than 70 million Americans -- said. "There's not a lot of unbiased research about the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and their impact on individuals," he added. The company, expected to be operational by June 30, will be governed by 10-12 members, including two representatives from the health insurance industry (Winslow, 5/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.