Posts Tagged “Bayer”

Primodos: Firms and govt face legal action over claims pregnancy drug ‘damaged babies’

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Primodos: Firms and govt face legal action over claims pregnancy drug ‘damaged babies’

Parents who say their babies were damaged by a pregnancy test drug have warned manufacturers and the government that they are preparing to take legal action. Lawyers representing more than 200 claimants have written letters accusing two drug companies and the UK regulators of being negligent and putting patients at risk. The drug Primodos was given to women in the 1960s and 70s. It was made up of two pills which would induce a period in women who were not pregnant. However, many families believe that if the mother was pregnant, it damaged or even killed their children in the womb. If successful the claim could be worth millions as the alleged victims all suffer with a variety of life-changing difficulties, including limb malformations, musculoskeletal abnormalities, heart defects and brain injuries. Some parents are also claiming still births were caused by the drug.

The proposed legal action follows a Sky News investigation in 2017 where we found documents in German archives showing manufacturers were warned by UK regulators that those using the drug had an increased risk of malformations – and that records from that study appeared to have been deliberately destroyed in order to frustrate any future legal action….

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Both parties want lower drug prices but gridlock prevents reform

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Both parties want lower drug prices but gridlock prevents reform

I went to Walgreens recently to pick up my three-month supply of a prescription I have been using for years. Ho hum. Until I saw what it was going to cost.

All of a sudden the price had gone up by more than 20 percent. I paid it, of course, grumbling. But I decided to do some research into what’s going on with America’s prescription drug prices.

Bloomberg News looked into drug prices last year and found that “255 brand name drugs had increases between Feb.1 and July 13 … the most common increase was for 9 to 10 percent.”

It also tracked the prices for 40 commonly used drugs in six categories — diabetes, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, asthma and chronic pulmonary disease, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis — over a three-year period from June 2015 to June 2018. During this period the consumer price index went up by 5.6 percent.

“For all six categories of drugs,” Bloomberg found, “list prices rose far faster than inflation.”

They report:

“Prices for 10 commonly used diabetes drugs rose 25.6 percent, on average, while average prices for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune treatments rose 40.1 percent. The latter category…

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NHS England sees off AbbVie’s Hep C legal challenge

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NHS England sees off AbbVie’s Hep C legal challenge

NHS England has claimed a victory after a legal challenge by AbbVie was rejected by the High Court, and says plans to eliminate hepatitis C by 2025 are back on track.

The court victory – and NHS England’s reaction to it – reflect its growing confidence in its use of tough negotiations and procurement to drive down drug prices and strike access deals with pharma.

AbbVie is one of several companies to market the new class of hepatitis C (HCV) treatments known as Maviret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir), which can cure patients of the serious blood infection. Maviret is in contention with rival treatments such as Gilead’s Sovaldi, Harvoni and Epclusa, to name a few.

NHS England had initially been slow in its uptake of these new curative treatments, but then last year declared it would aim to be the first country in the world to eliminate HCV, with a target date of 2025, and spending £1bn over five years to achieve this goal.

However, in order to make this £1bn stretch to treat millions of HCV patients, NHS England aimed to achieve this via its largest ever procurement process – and called on pharma companies to offer unprecedented discounts to their prices.

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Egypt’s continued pharma market growth possible with new Drug Authority

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Egypt’s continued pharma market growth possible with new Drug Authority

Regulation key to continued growth of Egypt’s AED12 billion pharma market, says experts in Abu Dhabi.

CPhI pharma event, hosts debate about how new regulation is key to market growth; experts from Sedico Pharmaceuticals and Bayer agree, broader common standards could support continued market growth of 10% per annum

The strength of the Egyptian pharma market was outlined during a panel discussion by two of the country’s leading experts on day two of CPhI Middle Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 3-5 September.

Currently worth over AED12 billion, the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt has been experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% in recent years with the figure forecast to continue growing at the same rate, if regulation can be broadened and standardised.

During the session Dr. Awad Gabr, Chairman & MD, Sedico Pharmaceuticals & Pharma Sector Advisor, ExpoLink explained the role of the Ministry of Health and announced that the Egyptian Drug Authority, would be inaugurated soon, he said:

“Egypt will introduce the new Egyptian Drug Authority in the coming weeks, this is a strategic decision made by the Ministry of Health to further expediate the growth of the pharma market in Egypt. The jurisdiction of the new body…

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Donald Trump trade war SUCCESS as Germany CAVES IN over drug costs

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Donald Trump trade war SUCCESS as Germany CAVES IN over drug costs

President Trump blasted the cost of medication in the US as part of his ongoing trade war, promoting German drug firms to make concessions and abandon price increases across America.

A spokesman for Darmstadt-based pharmaceutical and chemical group Merck said: “We are currently planning no price increases in the US for the rest of the year 2018.

They insisted their choice to cap medication prices in the US was one made “independently”.

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer has followed Merek’s lead by signing an agreement to not increase prices for any prescription drugs till the end of 2018.

According to German newspaper De Spiegel, US Health Minister Alex Azar had been informed “personally”.

In 2017, drug supplier Merck generated sales of an eye-watering 1.5 billion euros in its US arm, which amounted to a whopping 10 percent of the firm’s overall business.

Bayer also scooped less than a tenth of the Group’s sales with prescriptions in the States, including huge sales recorded of the blood thinner Xarelto.

Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the high cost of the US healthcare system, which is considered one of the world’s most inefficient.

He has in the past condemned expensive prescriptions and patented drugs.

Recently, a…

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China’s Removal of Imported Drug Tariffs

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China’s Removal of Imported Drug Tariffs

In the face of high tariffs, multiple layers of distribution, and monopoly supply, imported drugs have been extremely expensive in China. And this issue especially affects imported anticancer medications, which, compared with their counterparts abroad, are normally priced 2–3 times, sometimes even five times higher in China. An increasing number of Chinese patients are forced to give up treatments at local hospitals and seek solutions from overseas black drug markets. To address this problem, the Chinese government has stepped up its efforts to reduce the high drug prices. On May 1, 2018, it eliminated the tariff on 28 categories of imported drugs.

Before May 1, the actual tariff rate of imported drugs was about 5% to 6% in China. The total market value of current Chinese anti-cancer drugs is around $22 billion; about one third is contributed by imported drugs. Thus, it is estimated that removing the tariff can help to save around $312 million annually for Chinese patients.

But what does this mean for international and Chinese pharma companies? How should they position themselves in the wake of this new policy?

The impact on overseas pharma companies

In the short term, the price of imported drugs remains higher. In…

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How the Government Can Lower Drug Prices

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How the Government Can Lower Drug Prices

In Baltimore, the health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, uses a need-based algorithm to decide which emergency rooms, needle-exchange vans, E.M.T.s and opioid outreach workers receive the city’s limited supply of naloxone — and which don’t. The drug, which reverses overdoses, has saved some 14,000 Baltimore residents since 2015. But its price has increased in recent years, by between 95 and 500 percent, depending on which version of the medication is being considered. Even with donations and discounts from drug makers, Dr. Wen says the city can’t afford all the naloxone it needs.

In Louisiana, the state secretary of health, Dr. Rebekah Gee, says that officials must weigh the number of hepatitis C patients they could cure with new medications against a host of other priorities, like infrastructure and universal preschool. The drugs’ list prices run from $26,400 to $96,000 per person. Roughly 2.7 million Americans suffer from hepatitis C, a painful, often deadly infection spread mainly through injection drug use; roughly 20,000 of them are Louisiana residents who receive health care through state-funded programs. Even with various discounts, Dr. Gee says she cannot treat everyone on the state’s rosters.

Such calculations are being made everywhere, and not just because of…

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Finding Cancer Patients Is the Pharma Industry’s Unlikely Challenge

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Finding Cancer Patients Is the Pharma Industry’s Unlikely Challenge

The world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, looking to sell a new type of cancer drug that could transform treatment, are grappling with an unusual challenge: finding patients.

The new medicines aim to shrink tumors by targeting a rare genetic anomaly — appearing in 1,500 to 5,000 patients’ tumors in the U.S. annually — that can spur cancer’s growth. Bayer AG is out in front with a drug that could go on sale by the end of the year. Roche Holding AG is pursuing the same target.

Neither potential treatment can turn into a commercial success unless doctors and insurers embrace expensive new tests. Roche on Tuesday agreed to spend $2.4 billion to gain control of a company that makes such products. To identify just one potential candidate, doctors will need to peer into the DNA of as many as 100 patients at a cost of thousands of dollars a person.

“The question of access is really a question of whether a doctor will decide to do the test,” said Fabrice André, a professor in the department of medical oncology at Institut Gustave Roussy near Paris. “What is going to be the uptake of doctors to prescribe a test that detects 1…

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Biotech Firms Run Away After Industry Party With Topless Dancers

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Biotech Firms Run Away After Industry Party With Topless Dancers

Biotechnology and pharma companies scrambled to distance themselves from an industry party where topless dancers’ bodies were painted with sponsor logos.

Corporate sponsors of the event threatened to pull their backing after learning from attendees about the near-nudity. Photos provided by attendees of the June 6 party show a dancer clad only in a flower crown, boots, pasties and a bikini bottom with the name of Selexis SA, a Swiss biotech company, painted on her right thigh. Another firm’s name, Alpha Blue Ocean, was inscribed on her stomach. While held in Boston concurrently with the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the party is unaffiliated with the trade group.

“How in the world would they imagine this could be a good idea?” said Pierre Vannineuse, chief executive officer of Alpha Blue Ocean, a London-based investment firm that helped sponsor the event. Vannineuse said he had arrived late at the party and had only heard about the dancers after some party attendees aired their concerns this week. “I’m just very surprised.”

Concerns about the treatment of women in professional settings have risen amid the MeToo movement and prosecution of film producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape and sexual abuse….

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Two weeks after Trump unveiled plan to lower drug prices, two cancer drugs got a $1,000-per-month price hike

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Two weeks after Trump unveiled plan to lower drug prices, two cancer drugs got a $1,000-per-month price hike

Two weeks after President Trump in May unveiled a plan to lower drug prices for Americans, promising “it will start to take effect very soon,” the drug company Bayer hiked the list prices of two cancer drugs by more than $1,000 per month.

Bayer wasn’t alone. A research note by Wells Fargo analyst David Maris found that although fewer drug-price increases occurred in May than in previous months, dozens of increases did occur.

“We believe drug pricing remains a risk for the pharmaceutical industry,” Maris wrote. “The President has highlighted lowering the cost of healthcare as a key objective and we do not expect the negative commentary around the cost of medicines will soon subside.”

Many of the price increases Maris tracked — particularly the double-digit-percentage increases — involved older, generic drugs. There were also price reductions on a slew of older medicines. But the 8 percent price increases that Bayer instituted are notable because the drugs, Stivarga and Nexavar, have already raised some concerns because of their cost. It is the second price increase for the two drugs in six months.

Stivarga, which is used for patients with colorectal, liver and gastrointestinal cancers, now carries a list price of about $16,860 per month. Nexavar, used in kidney, liver and…

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