Mevion's compact S250 unit bids to change the economics of radiation oncology
    In some circles, proton beam accelerators (PBAs) are looked on as a bad case of overreach by hospital systems scrambling to offer the latest and greatest in cancer care with little regard for health economics or outcomes. Until recently, the devices were massive units costing hundreds of millions of dollars; there are about 25 units in operation or various stages of commissioning across the country, and already there are questions whether the units are cannibalizing each other's base of potential patients
    Annual analysis of future value sees industry moving into a positive region
    Starting with 18 multinational biopharma companies, and then computing their enterprise value (a measure of market capitalization and net debt) as a step to a calculated future value (the difference between enterprise value and current value), Accenture Life Sciences arrives at a scoring for the industry, and top performers within it. Unlike last year's analysis, the industry category has moved into a net positive future value of 2% (especially significant since last year's value was -15%). The Top Performer, as Accenture defines it, is Novo Nordisk, with an expected four-year growth forecast of nearly 8%. Astellas, Amgen, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Novartis and Roche are Near Top
    Effect of the first full year of Obamacare was muted, although a record number of prescriptions were written
    Double-digit growth--not seen since the early 2000s in the US pharma industry-- came roaring back in 2014, according to the annual report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics (Parsippany, NJ). Spending on drugs (based on ex-manufacturer pricing, and not including tens of billions of dollars of discounting) reached $373.9 billion. A combination of factors generated this growth: a decline in patent expiries (which removed $11.9 billion from industry sales as lower-cost generics replaced them); growth in new product launches (adding $20.3 billion--much of which was for hepatitis C therapies
    Do you know your J codes?
    The 11th edition of the EMD Serono Specialty Digest, released today at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy meeting (San Diego) highlights, for the first time in the survey, a new priority for payers: preferentially managing the site of care (hospital, clinic, doctor's office, home) for specialty products. The question hadn't been asked in previous survey, but now 71% of the payers surveyed (a group representing over 100 million covered lives) say that is their 2015 priority. That result, combined with other cost- and utilization-management practices surveyed by EMD Serono, sets the stage
    AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR sample kit takes top honors
    An annual tradition since 1995, the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council's Package of the year winner, this year, is a blister-carded 14-day sample kit from AstraZeneca, for its Seroquel XR (extended release quetiapine), an "atypical antipsychotic" for treatment of a variety of mental health conditions. First Runner-Up is Eli Lilly's Strattera (atomoxetine, for ADHD) physician's sample pack, and Second Runner-Up is the Exforge HCT blister package. Novartis' Exforge HCT (amlodipine, valstartan, hydrochlorothiazide) is indicated for high blood-pressure treatment and is taken
    Besides specialty pharmaceutical pricing, the cost of compounded drugs is highlighted
    For the past two years, Express Scripts has gone well beyond its traditional role in winning rebates from pharma manufacturers and actively managing drug regimens for the patients whose drug-benefit plans it oversees: In 2013 it announced that 48 branded drugs would be on a "formulary exclusion list" for cases where a roughly equivalent generic or lower-cost branded drug was available. Over much of last year it agitated very publicly for a lower cost for Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C cure, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), and at the end of the year said it would provide for the newly approved competitor
    Company wins $10 million in venture capital as it lines up key life sciences service providers
    For most pharma organizations, the ability to perform analytics on top of data-generating applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) or multichannel marketing (MCM) is the new state of the art: By gathering and analyzing such data, trends can be captured quickly and then reacted to. Like many, many other players in this Big Data space, Reltio (Palo Alto, CA) offers its capabilities to rapidly bring in diverse data sources together, draw linkages and derive trends. But unlike most, it comes to the activity from the field of master data management (MDM)--the task of gathering together accurate client demographic information
    'Filgrastim-sndz' is Sandoz' Zarxio, the biosimilar of Amgen's Neuprogen
    Following a unanimous approval by a review panel in January, FDA has approved the commercial distribution of the biosimilar form of filgrastim, aka Amgen's Neuprogen. Sandoz' press release, issued on the same day as FDA's, doesn't say anything about a distribution timetable, and a Reuters report says that Amgen is suing to block the sale in the US; a decision on a preliminary injunction is expected in the next couple weeks. That article also puts global filgrastim sales at around $1.2 billion worldwide; Sandoz has been marketing its biosimilar for several years already, as Zarzio. In the US, if the Amgen suit is resolved favorably for Sandoz,
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Pharmaceutical Commerce’s annual Cold Chain Sourcebook projects 44% growth over the 2013–2019 span
W. Scott Evangelista, president of Integrated Commercial Services and Solutions, the largest business unit within IHS, sat down to talk with Pharmaceutical Commerce. Here’s what he had to say.
It's still early days in making medical marijuana--and cannabis-based pharmaceuticals--part of normal dispensing  continued >
Unifying the management of clinical research documentation and marketing content saves time and accelerates speed-to-therapy  continued >
GDP standards drive higher performance standards for packaging  continued >
Manufacturers will need to refine their interactions with healthcare providers and produce better outcomes research and adherence programs to compete  continued >
Persistent drug shortages are mostly attributable to manufacturing quality problems, but the economics of low-margin generic manufacturing challenge the industry  continued >
2015 Hub Services Report
Comprehensive patient care becomes the unifying theme of pharma hubs
Use of state-of-the-art software, combined with benchmarking and active oversight, fills this gap 
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