SKIMMERS SUMMARY:

  • Jefferies analysts found doctors have shown strong interest in prescribing Aduhelm for about 35% of early-stage Alzheimer’s patients with mild cognitive impairment after surveying 50 U.S. neurologists or psychiatrists currently treating about 12,000 Alzheimer’s patients. Source: Fierce Pharma
  • If that enthusiasm pans out in the long run, it could mean at least 300,000 patients taking the drug, or $10 billion to $15 billion in peak Aduhelm from U.S. sales alone, which is above consensus estimates of around $7 billion to $8 billion, the team said.
  •  One agency FDA adviser, resigning from his committee post in protest, called it “probably the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history.” Source: STAT News
  • Our healthcare system can’t continue to support drugs that don’t have good clinical outcomes behind them.
<strong>The <strong>FDA</strong> and Aduhelm:</strong><em> <strong>WTF</strong>?</em>

SKIMMERS SUMMARY:

  • There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud. Milton Friedman
  • A newly approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease is expected to become a multibillion-dollar expense for Medicare. By one projection, spending on the drug for Medicare patients could end up being higher than the budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency or NASA. (New York Times)
  • If you spend any time reading pharma PR releases, you’ll see over and over again corporate managements stressing the importance of the shareholder. When a new drug is derailed the first thing that pops out is the effect on the company’s stock price, not patients.
  • Can a pharma company serve both shareholders and patients?
<strong>Shareholders versus patients:</strong><em> Who is more important?</em>

SKIMMERS SUMMARY:

  • Google has vowed to block cookies completely on its Chrome browser, which is used by around 70 percent of the world’s desktop computer owners, by the beginning of 2022. 
  • Display ads are usually reported to have an overall click rate of about five clicks in ten thousand ads served. If you want to know why the web is so appallingly littered with ads, it’s because to get five clicks you have to run 10,000 ads. If that’s not bad enough, 60% of the clicks are reported to be mistakes.
  • In one test, data bought from a data broker was able to correctly intuit the sex of an individual 43% of the time. A cat flipping a coin would be right 50% of the time.
  • According to Nielsen traditional TV viewing (over-the-air and cable) account for about 2/3 of all TV viewing and streaming accounts for only about 25%. The rest of TV time is used for gaming. Despite all the hype about Netflix, it accounts for about 2% of TV viewing.
Why <strong>TV</strong> will continue to be the first choice for <strong>DTC</strong>

SKIMMERS SUMMARY:

  • According to a GAO Report “Medicare Parts B and D and beneficiaries spent $560 billion on drugs from 2016 through 2018, $324 billion of which was spent on advertised drug”.
  • GAO’s review of four advertised drugs found that drug manufacturers changed their DTCA spending during key events, such as increasing spending when a drug was approved to treat additional conditions or decreasing spending following the approval of generic versions.
  • The report fails to acknowledge the role of HCPs in prescribing medications and empowered patients who may have been educated by DTC ads.
  • This report is going to lead to more calls to limit DTC advertising.
<strong>GAO</strong> Report on <strong>DTC</strong>/Medicare spending flawed

SKIMMERS SUMMARY:

  • Health experts, including those on an external advisory committee to the FDA, are skeptical that Biogen’s drug will even successfully slow the progression of Alzheimer’s after late-stage clinical trials yielded mixed results and are angry the FDA approved the product.
  • The FDA’s recent approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm) shows just how badly the agency has failed the public.
  • In late April, the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee reviewed six accelerated approvals — a provisional pathway — involving a group of cancer immunotherapies where clinical trials had failed to confirm that the drugs extended survival or improved quality of life. Yet, in four of the six cases, the advisory committee voted to keep the accelerated approvals intact. (source: Medpage)
  • In response to the FDA’s approval, three members of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee who opposed approval of the drug quit the panel in protest.
  • Physicians are signaling that they now want to see the “complete date” regarding new drug approvals.
“I don’t trust the <strong>FDA</strong> anymore”

KEY POINTS:

  • About three in ten adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost. This includes about one in five who report that they have not filled a prescription or took an over-the counter drug instead, and about one in ten who say they have cut pills in half or skipped a dose.
  • The public sees profits made by pharmaceutical companies as the largest factor contributing to the price of prescription drugs. About eight in ten across partisans say profits made by pharmaceutical companies are a “major factor” in the price of prescription drugs.
  • The May 2021 KFF Health Tracking Poll finds about two-thirds of adults say there is “not as much regulation as there should be” when it comes to limiting the price of prescription drugs.
  • There are proposals to allow the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications that would apply to both Medicare and private insurance and the KFF Health Tracking Poll finds majorities support this proposal, regardless of party identification

Source: Public Opinion on Prescription Drugs and Their Prices, Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues. KFF.org

Prescription drug prices are out of cotrol

QUICK POINTS:

  • Telemedicine claims as a proportion of all commercial health insurance claims decreased by 5.1% nationwide from February to March, after a steeper decline of 15.7% from January to February as vaccination efforts increased and COVID-19 increased. Cases declined as a result.
  • Telehealth claims accounted for 7% of all medical claims positions in January, before falling to 5.9% in February and 5.6% in March, suggesting a steady slowdown in virtual care demand this year.
  • The historically high usage of telemedicine over the past year has resulted in an unprecedented inflow of cash into the sector and an increase in mergers and acquisitions among virtual care players looking to gain market share.
  • Doctors using telemedicine software are not sure of its value to patients and believe telehealth may pose risks.
Telehealth use drops as hype expires