Looks like an exciting 2013 from the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

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John Orwin, CEO of Affymax

One of the topics of discussion at the healthcare conference this year has been the growing influence of payers on drug prices. Affymax ($AFFY) CEO John Orwin came to this year's conference with some experience that provides some insight. The company's anemia drug Omontys is the first and only once-monthly ESA medication available in the U.S. used for patients on dialysis. The government is now paying a fixed price for dialysis, and providers have to manage all aspects of that to make money, like the price they pay for drugs. He likes his company's position in this situation because Omontys is a once-a-month drug and provides the first competition to Amgen's ($AMGN) Epogen, which requires multiple doses. "I can't say what other therapeutic areas the government is looking at," he says, "but I think dialysis may be at the forefront of the new paradigm."