Friday summary of news for pharma

fridaynewsMore Americans surviving cancer than ever. The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. will grow to almost 19 million in 2024, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. The report says there are currently 14.5 million cancer survivors living in the country.

As it does every year, analyst firm Gartner updated its famous Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies this summer and, according to the firm, “mobile health monitoring” is approaching the bottom of the so-called “trough of disillusionment”. Mobile health monitoring will need another five to 10 years before reaching its “plateau of productivity” and steady market adoption.

Representation of Health Conditions on Facebook: Content Analysis and Evaluation of User Engagement. This research represents the first attempts to comprehensively describe publicly available health content and user engagement with health conditions on Facebook pages. Public health interventions using Facebook will need to be designed to ensure relevant information is easy to find and with an understanding that stigma associated with some health conditions may limit the users’ engagement with Facebook pages. This line of research merits further investigation as Facebook and other SNS continue to evolve over the coming years.

Americans pay way, way, way more for health care than anyone else. Health care in the United States is expensive. Insanely, outlandishly expensive. We spend $2.8 trillion on healthcare annually. That works out to about one-sixth of the total economy and more than $8,500 per person — and way more than any other country.

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FDA Panel Recommends More Study on Testosterone Drugs for ‘Low-T’ Use.  A Food and Drug Administration panel on Wednesday recommended that makers of testosterone-replacement drugs study possible increased risks of heart attack and stroke from the hot-selling products. The outside panel of experts also voted overwhelmingly that the FDA should come up with language in the products’ labels to restrict the intended uses of the drugs, which critics say are overprescribed. The decision could have implications for millions of older men taking the medicines.  The FDA said early this year that it was monitoring the risk from testosterone products in light of recent studies suggesting serious side effects. Of particular concern to public health officials has been the loose prescribing of drugs for a condition sometimes called “low-T,” in which some men are taking drugs more for lifestyle reasons rather than medical ones.

New York Sues to Block Early Withdrawal of Alzheimer’s Drug.  A new lawsuit is calling attention to an unusual move by drug maker Actavis PLC that the New York attorney general says is designed to preserve sales of a brand-name medication for Alzheimer’s disease.  The state attorney general’s office filed suit Monday against Dublin-based Actavis in federal court in New York, seeking to block the company’s publicly stated plan to stop selling Namenda tablets, which are given twice daily. The suit accuses Actavis of forcing patients to switch to a once-daily formulation of the same drug, Namenda XR, so that the company won’t face as much competition when low-cost generic versions of the original drug hit the market next year. The U.S. patent for the original drug expires next year, while a separate patent for the extended-release version isn’t due to expire until 2029.

Rich’s Thoughts….

ca_029_calvin_hobbes_ponder__65012Pharma continues to be in the crosshairs of the media thanks to the decision Actavis to “force switch” patients to a new version of their branded drug wile an older version comes off patent.  I understand the strategy but what I don’t understand is why the CEO would think that they could implement such a strategy?  Surely he would have known that there would be a media feeding frenzy when his call with investors was leaked.  What’s sad here is that CEO’s are still compensated on their company’s sales not on what they do to improve healthcare.

A couple of years ago the CEO’s of Merck and Lilly was crucified by The Street when they made the decision to invest more money in R&D rather than add it to the bottom line.  Recent drug developments at both companies suggest their decisions were the right ones.  They were thinking strategically rather than short term gains.

There is a new environment within prescription drug marketing.  Most consumers don’t believe what we are selling it is therefore more essential than ever that we work everyday with every patient to consistently earn their trust.  It starts with an understanding that our product reprints a good choice for patients but this means that we need an empathetic understanding of what it’s like to be a patient in an era of so many healthcare choices and information.

1 thought on “Friday summary of news for pharma

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