PhRMA rapidly responds: 'a chilling signal to the marketplace that risk-taking will no longer be rewarded'
    A commentary published in the latest Mayo Clinic Proceedings, signed by dozens of (mostly) academically affiliated oncologists, calls for a new effort to corral the prices of cancer drugs entering the market. The in-press article, "In Support of a Patient-Driven Initiative and Petition to Lower the High Price of Cancer Drugs" calls for patients and the public to sign a petition in hopes that "this quantified support can then be used by advocates, lobbyists and others to ... encourage our elected representatives to more effectively advocate for ... patients." The physicians cite data indicating that the average price of new cancer drugs has increased 5- to 10-fold over 15 years, and the cost of drugs for each
    Two-part journey brings a package of medicines to an Appalachian free clinic
    Call it a most excellent photo op for Washington and Virginia government officials--while simultaneously at least paying lip service to a good cause, healthcare for the uninsured. On July 17, a 10-lb package of pharmaceuticals, for patients being served at a western Virginia health fair (more about that later), was delivered via a drone (a "hexacopter") from Flirtey Inc., an Australian company developing remote-delivery technology. The Flirtey drone flew a couple miles to the fairgrounds (making multiple runs from a local airport), and dropped its package via a tether to the ground. But that was the last leg: previously, a NASA unmanned aircraft system, the Cirrus SR-22, had conveyed the shipment from a Tazewell County,
    Sofrigam promotes its Igloo kit for pharmacy-to-home; Sonoco, a new reusable container
    Years ago (and, worrisomely, in some cases still today) pharma cold chain packaging amounted to beer coolers with some ice thrown in, but the field has advanced dramatically over the past decade with highly engineered containers and cooling technologies. Now, specialized containers for specific parts of the distribution channels of life sciences products are appearing. The latest involve the critical "last mile" delivery to the patient's home, and economical and dependable shipping of blood products. In the latter case, Sonoco ThermoSafe (Arlington Heights, IL) has announced the Via reusable
    Latest SK&A pharmacy data outlines retail channel
    The top 20 retail pharmacy chains represent roughly half of the overall retail market; independents represent about a third, and the remainder are smaller, regional chains. Those proportions have held fairly steady for several years, but there is considerable reshuffling going on within these categories. Table 1, based on data collected annually by SK&A Information, a unit of IMS Health, ranks top chains by number of pharmacists employed; with few exceptions, that also tracks the ranking by number of stores. Events have been overtaking some aspects of this list: in 2016, it's likely that CVS Health will ascend to No. 1, by way of its acquisitions of
    What do 9.4 million lunches, breakfasts and funded coffee breaks do for the healthcare professions?
    Right on schedule, and with, according to CMS, 98.8% validated records (of a total of 11.41 million records), the Open Payments system delivered the results on calendar year 2014. Open Payments comes out of the Physicians Sunshine Act, requiring drug and medical device manufacturers to document "transfers of value" to physicians and teaching hospitals. Pharma and med-device spent a total of $6.49 billion on over 600,000 physicians and 1,100 teaching hospitals in that year, says CMS. In 2014, following several delays, CMS reported on the latter five months of 2013 under the Open Payments system, and with a sizable percentage of exclusions due to validation
    Schreiner MediPharm develops the 10-part label as an extension of its Pharm-Comb series
    Especially in clinical settings, having a multipart label serves a variety of safety and ease-of-use functions for nurses and other healthcare providers (HCPs). It is common in many settings to detach part of the label (which can contain the product name, dosage or other trackable data) and append it to a patient record. The detachable part can also serve as a step in documenting treatment for billing purposes. Overall, the multipart label ensures compliance with the "right drug, right patient ..." mantra of HCPs. To this end, Schreiner MediPharm (Baluvelt, NY) has developed an unusually comprehensive, 10-part
    Medical cost growth rate has been nearly halved since 2007, but remains above general inflation rates
    The 10th-anniversary report, Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2016, from PwC's Health Research Institute projects a 6.5% overall increase, and a net increase (to employer plans and commercial insurers) of 4.5%, for 2016, after factoring in cost-shifting to patients and other changes. That growth rate is down from 2015's 6.8% (projected a year ago), and from 11.9% in 2007, the first year of the HRI report. The cost curve has been bent downward, based on HRI's analysis, but it remains above the general rate of inflation
    Could PBMs be the big loser in how US healthcare is ultimately reshaped?
    The decision today (June 25) by the US Supreme Court to uphold the essentials of the Affordable Care Act--the ability to provide subsidized insurance via state health exchanges--will likely spur the current merger activity among the biggest health insurance companies--what the Wall Street Journal called a "five-way takeover frenzy." Last week, Anthem Health went public with what is now a $47.5-billion hostile takeover bid for Cigna; previously, UnitedHealth had made an offer for Aetna, and both Cigna and Aetna have reportedly made approaches to Humana. WSJ speculates that federal antitrust regulators would allow only one or two
    Market-data firm estimates overall 2020 global drug sales at $987 billion
    The annual report from Evaluate Pharma, World Preview 2015, Outlook to 2020, compiles a variety of data on research, drug pipelines, current and projected sales and by its count, the No. 1 biopharma company in the world both in 2014 and 2020, will be Novartis, with projected sales of $53.3 billion (the company tracks only drug sales, and not other businesses that biopharma firms might be engaged in). Pfizer, the longtime No. 1 firm until recently, is projected to remain No. 2, even though 2020 sales will be essentially flat from 2014's $44.5 billion. In fact, the top 20 firms collectively will show CAGR of 3%,
    Company jumps on the latest mobile platform with RepWear and MgrWear for pharma sales forces
    The just-introduced Apple Watch is still feeling its way in the marketplace, trying to address the question whether consumers will want to shrink the apps they use on smartphones to a 1.5-inch screen and performing the legendary Dick Tracy act of talking to your wrist. But IMS Health, now rolling out the Mobile Intelligence CRM platform acquired when it bought Cegedim Relationship Management combined with its IMSOne cloud-based, enterprise-level data and analytics platform, is pushing the edge of the envelope with a platform tailored for Apple Watch, called IMS HealthWear 1.0. HealthWear is initially being offered in two versions:
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Pharmaceutical Commerce’s annual Cold Chain Sourcebook projects 44% growth over the 2013–2019 span
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Pharmaceutical Commerce sat down with Gary McWalters of TGaS Advisors. Here's what he had to say.
While the biopharma industry continues to develop better treatment options, there is a stronger focus on more intensive patient engagement  continued >
New IT tools are propelling a more focused approach to product launch  continued >
Control of costs and accounting during clinical trials is a well-known challenge to sponsors. Tools are available  continued >
Today's patient population is markedly different from that of generations past.  continued >
Combining high-quality patient-support services with comprehensive and continually updated analytics results in better outcomes  continued >
2015 PDMA Sharing Conference
A silver anniversary with golden opportunities
Looking for a 'paradigm shift' in patient recruitment and retention on an international level 
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