In the summer of 2018, biotechnology giant Biogen, in collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Eisai, unveiled the findings from a promising Alzheimer’s drug trial. 

The news was met with cautious optimism from Alzheimer’s patients, families, and researchers, including Keith Fargo, Director of Scientific Programs at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Millions of people have Alzheimer’s, and right now it’s a death sentence. So any time we see positive results from a trial that appears to show disease modification, that gives us hope,” said Keith Fargo in a 2018 interview with Vox. “But it’s a cautious hope.”

Now, almost three years later, the long-awaited approval of Aduhelm, Biogen’s $56,000 Alzheimer’s treatment, is on the horizon.

What is the FDA’s verdict on the new Alzheimer’s drug?

On Monday, June 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Aduhelm (aducanumab) for Alzheimer’s, which affects more than 6 million Americans annually. The drug was approved using the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway, which is reserved for drugs that provide a significant therapeutic advantage over existing treatments for life-threatening illnesses.

However, the approval was not unanimous. Just months earlier, in November 2020, the FDA Advisory Committee rejected Aduhelm due to the lack of evidence in support of its effectiveness against Alzheimer’s disease.

Will Medicare cover the treatment?

The uncertainty of the drug’s effectiveness is just one factor that Medicare must consider before coming to a decision on whether or not it will cover Aduhelm for patients over the age of 65. If Medicare agrees to cover the treatment at the list price of $56,000, it could cost the federal health insurance program upwards of $100 billion a year.

Independent analysts like the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review value Aduhelm at around $8,000 – just a fraction of the current projected cost of treatment. But Vox writer Dylan Scott says it’s unlikely that Medicare will be able to obtain the treatment at this price.

“Instead, the federal program is likely in effect obligated to cover the new drug now that it has FDA approval,” writes Scott.

One thing is certain: Medicare’s pending decision will affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of affected Americans.

Interested in becoming a key player in the pharmaceutical industry? Visit https://greenkeyllc.com/area/pharma/to learn more about Green Key’s offerings in this industry.

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

Family Doctors Are In Demand Everywhere

Family physicians are the most recruited of all doctors. The demand for these family practitioners is expected to grow by 10%, second only to psychiatrists. Yet those who practice family medicine have seen their average pay decrease, making these doctors among the lowest paid of all medical specialties.

To 10 states highest doctor pay - blog.jpg

These aren’t new revelations, but they stand out starkly in the just-released Physician Compensation Report from Physicians Thrive, a financial advisory firm for doctors. The report is a compilation of data from multiple sources. It covers pay and bonuses by physician specialty and practice, and drills down into regional and state differences, hiring demand, and gender gap issues.

The report tells us that in 2020 specialists earned an average $346,000 per year, up from $341,000 in 2019. But female physicians earn 28% less on average than their male counterparts in the same specialty.

Primary care physicians, including family medicine practitioners, earn an average of $243,000 per year, up from $237,000 in 2019. But half of all family medicine doctors earn less than $205,000. And they’ve seen their pay decrease by 8.3%, the largest of all medical specialties, according to the report.

Why isn’t clear.

It’s not a matter of a significant gender imbalance the way it is in pediatrics where almost two-thirds of the doctors are women. Or in obstetrics/gynecology, which is 59% female. The Association of American Medical Colleges says 59% of the family medicine doctors are male.

For whatever reason, the Physicians Thrive report says that, “Since 2014, the number of physicians choosing to work in family medicine has decreased, leaving family practices understaffed throughout the country.”

Picking up at least some of the slack are nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The report says 78% of NPs and 33% of PAs provide primary care, according to the report. Though they do much of the same work as a physician, nurse practitioners on average earned $124,000 in 2019.

The highest-paid specialists, according to the report, are neurosurgeons earning a median of $645,000. In the Midwest, these specialists earn an average of $760,000 annually, making them the highest-paid specialists anywhere.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


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Green Key
May 31, 2024

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jon Danko 

Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on our powerhouse recruiting team.  

We recently caught up with Jon Danko, Executive Director on the Healthcare team at Green Key. Jon started his recruiting journey after gaining experience working in sales. Since joining Green Key, he has transitioned to travel nursing recruiting and is looking forward to streamlining that area even more.

Can you share your career journey and how you progressed to your current role? 

Sure, so after I graduated, I started working in sales and worked my way up to management where I became the area manager at a car rental company. I then I took a leap of faith and started recruiting with no experience at an agency where I worked my way into a sales role there after that, I switched over to travel nursing. After working in this role, a colleague of mine and I came to Green Key and started the division a few years ago. He has now moved on, and I have taken on the division along with Victoria Ceballos.  

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of your career? 

My job is rewarding. I love staffing to be honest. It’s such a good feeling when you make a placement and they’re so thankful. Life is tough and you were able to help change their situation or even just give them advice. That means a lot to me. I also enjoy seeing my colleagues grow and succeed. For instance, Victoria and I took a leap of faith and switched over to travel nursing. To see our ideas blossoming is so rewarding. 

How do you balance the use of AI technologies with traditional recruitment methods in healthcare, ensuring a human-centric approach while leveraging the benefits of automation and data-driven insights? 

In my role, I love using AI to help increase the professionalism in my writing. However, I see a lot of people have been using AI as a writing tool, so I have dialed it back a little because I want to still have that human touch as well. I also love using AI to help me create eye-catching titles or subjects for my emails. Overall, AI has been a great in my toolbox.  

What advice would you give to candidates looking to stand out in the healthcare job market? 

Oh, be sure to tailor your resume for every job. You cannot have the same resume for every job that you apply to because a lot of these companies use AI to review resumes and it looks for certain buzzwords in a resume. You also need to be very direct and clear about all your experience as job titles can differ for the same role.  

How do you stay updated on changes and developments within the pharmaceutical industry to better serve your clients and candidates? 

I use LinkedIn a lot and read different articles. I also stay connected with many of my clients, who always have a lot of insight into conferences and can inform us of what is coming. I am also in a lot of healthcare groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.  

Do you have any new professional goals, either for yourself or your team?   

Yes, we are aiming to continue to grow the division and hire more passionate team members. 

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