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Good morning:

Where do you go to find wholesale price data for prescription
drugs, not only the current AWP or WAC [1], but trends from
inception?

Right now, I am specifically looking for the AWP and WAC for
Berlex's Fludara (fludarabine sulfate), for 1992 (the year the
product entered the market) through 1998; but I foresee this
question recurring enough for other drugs that I need to get
more ducks in order.

Where do you all turn when you need pricing and sales data?

In this case, here's what I've tried:

-- Drug Topics "Red Book" (Medical Economics). The Red Book has
   the AWP, but not the WAC. Local libraries have spotty
   coverage of back issues of the annual Red Book (although I've
   just found one which isn't missing more than two issues), and
   I'd really rather find an online source of the data, even if
   I have to pay for the convenience as well as for the data
   itself.

-- HCFA's Medicare web site [2], thinking that we could at least
   work backwards from the reimbursement rate to the AWP, since it's
   a set percentage. While I managed to find the rate for 2000 and
   2001, HCFA does not appear to maintain historical data.

-- FirstData, which now owns Medispan (which used to be the official
   source of this data), can generate customized price reports (for
   about $4K, on classes of drugs, broken out by brand/generic).
   However, to my knowledge, they do not maintain trend data back
   to product introduction, just the last 10 price _changes_.

-- IMS Health is another very expensive data source, but we're looking
   to ensure that they do have the trend data, and can come in at or
   under FirstData.

-- Berlex's library: I have yet to hear back from them, which is
   understandable.

Any other ideas, I will be happy to summarize for the list, if sent
to me privately.

___________________
NOTES:

[1]     AWP = Average Wholesale Price
        WAC = Wholesale Acquisition Cost
        Both measures are used by Medicare and managed care
      to compute reimbursement.

[2]   http://www.hcfa.gov/medicare/mcarpti.htm

___________________

-- Lee McKee, Info Mgr
   Health Advances Inc
   40 Grove St
   Wellesley MA 02482
   (781) 235-6626 x3007
   Fax: (781) 235-6609
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