So the weeks keep ticking by . . . We are approaching the end of August which means that FEHB plan carriers are wrapping up 2016 benefit and rate negotiations with OPM. In about one month’s time, OPM will publicize the 2016 premiums which should be very interesting. 2016 will be the first year that the FEHBP offers a self plus one enrollment type. OPM has predicted that 1 million or approximately 45% of current self and family enrollees will opt for self plus one. 

Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration approved for marketing a female libido drug called Addyi. The effective date of the decision is mid-October which explains why you haven’t seen any commercials for the new drug yet. Yesterday, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company which obtained the FDA approval, was bought out by Valeant for about $1 billion according to the New York Times. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that health plans and prescription benefit managers are not evaluating coverage of the new drug. The article explains that

“I think it’s a mistake for any third-party payer to pay for a medication that doesn’t come with a reasonably solid evidence of value,” said David Juurlink, a physician and professor at the University of Toronto who studies drug safety. “The data for flibanserin [Addyi] make it very clear that the majority of women who take it are not going to experience any meaningful benefit.”
The FDA is requiring doctors to get certified through an online training program to be able to prescribe Addyi, and patients will have to sign a form saying they understand the risks.

We shall see.

Medpage Today reports that “The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has launched docInfo, a publicly accessible physician search tool containing licensing and state medical board disciplinary information on more than 900,000 physicians and physician assistants nationally.”  Try it — it works.