Posts Tagged “Compliance”

Opioid epidemic: Prescription pills were made and sold ‘like Doritos’

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Opioid epidemic: Prescription pills were made and sold ‘like Doritos’

Much of the responsibility for the opioid epidemic has been directed at Purdue Pharma, and not without good reason. Purdue introduced OxyContin in the mid-1990s and marketed it aggressively. Its sales representatives lied about its addictive qualities. Its executives downplayed reports of abuse. Its owners grew rich while thousands of people died and countless families were shattered. But documents pried loose last month, thanks to legal action by The Washington Post and the Charleston Gazette-Mail, confirm that there is plenty of blame to go around for the opioid crisis , much of it falling on other drugmakers and distributors.

The data, compiled in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System database , shows that from 2006 to 2012 America was saturated with an astonishing 76 billion prescription opioid pills — about 230 for every adult and child in the country. Even as more people became addicted and deaths involving opioids skyrocketed (from 8,048 in 1999 to 18,515 in 2007 to 47,600 in 2017), more companies ramped up the business of making, distributing and dispensing generic forms of powerful painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Among drugmakers, Purdue actually ranked fourth (2.5 billion pills) in the ARCOS…

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USA: The Fight To Lower Soaring Drug Prices Turns Bitter Between States And The Feds

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USA: The Fight To Lower Soaring Drug Prices Turns Bitter Between States And The Feds

Frustrated by federal inaction, state lawmakers in 41 states have proposed detailed plans to lower soaring prescription drug costs. Some measures would give state Medicaid agencies more negotiating power. Others would disclose the pricing decisions of the drug manufacturers and the companies that administer prescription drug plans.

The more ambitious proposals would bump up against federal authority, such as legislation that would allow importing drugs from Canada or alter federal statutes on the prices states pay for drugs in Medicaid. They likely would have to survive a challenge in federal court. And many likely would face resistance from a deep-pocketed pharmaceutical industry.

According to the National Institute on Money and Politics, a nonprofit that collects campaign finance data, the pharmaceutical industry in 2018 contributed nearly $19 million to state campaigns, and $56 million to federal ones.

“States are limited in power in this area,” said Rachel Sachs, a health law expert at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. “But one of the impacts of these efforts is to put pressure on the federal government, and force it to justify its actions to stymie the states.”

President Donald Trump has criticized soaring drug prices, and on Thursday the Department…

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Dubai launches 1st Regulated Telehealth Platform With Live Consultation

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Dubai launches 1st Regulated Telehealth Platform With Live Consultation

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) announced the first regulated telehealth platform in the free zone, launching the new service with a live consultation between a patient at Arab Health, following up with a licensed doctor in the free zone.

The initiative is in line with the Fifty-Year Charter by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, mandating ‘A Doctor to Every Citizen’, and providing citizens with doctors, specialists and medical consultants 24/7 through smart government applications.

DHCC’s telehealth application (telehealth.dhcc.ae/) in partnership with GetBEE (www.GetBee.com), a technology start-up specializing in business-to-business solution, facilitates live medical consultations and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), connecting patients through tools such as video conferencing. The platform gives patients the flexibility, convenience, and reach of licensed health services from the comfort of their homes.

The World Health Organization defines telehealth as involving the use of telecommunications and virtual technology to deliver healthcare outside of traditional clinical facilities.

At Arab Health, DHCC connected a patient to a licensed clinical facility through technology. On the DHCC stand, Dr. Abdul Kader Weiss, Specialist General Surgeon, from the Emirates Specialty Hospital (ESH) in…

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Dubai Health Authority implements Smart Homecare technologies

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Dubai Health Authority implements Smart Homecare technologies

DUBAI: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) (United Arab Emirates) has launched smart homecare technologies that would allow the homecare team to contact doctors via smart applications and devices for instant consultation.

These smart technologies also include wireless devices that are directly linked to DHA’s electronic health record system “SALAMA,” ensuring that patient records are updated in real-time during home visits via a secure web server.

The wireless devices include non-contact thermometers, auto-arm blood pressure monitor, 4g router, smart tablet, pulse oximeter, connected pocket electrocardiogram, blood glucose monitor, wireless stethoscope and a digital scope system.

Commenting on the new technology, Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the DHA, said that incorporating smart technologies in healthcare is an important priority as it enhances patient care, ensures better follow up and empowers patients.

He also added that the smart homecare services will reduce waiting time, incidences of complication and guarantee the timely availability of services, which is in line with the authority’s goals of achieving a healthier and happier society.

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector, explained that prior to the introduction of these smart technologies, nurses wrote all the results of a patient’s examination on paper.

“Electronically linking the…

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Lonely planet: why there is dwindling value in pharma travelling alone

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Lonely planet: why there is dwindling value in pharma travelling alone

Almost a decade ago, PwC predicted that by 2020, no pharmaceutical company would be able to ‘profit alone’. Success, it said, would require companies to join forces with other organisations and swim upstream into the health management space to preserve the value of its products.

Published in 2009, Pharma 2020: Challenging Business Models argued that pharma would need to collaborate with academic institutions, hospitals and technology companies, as well as providers of services such as nutrition, health screening, compliance and wellness to deliver meaningful value beyond medicine. With the 2020 milestone almost upon us, evidence suggests that the central prediction of the PwC report has proved to be correct. Pharma has recognised the need to change its traditional business model and explore more collaborative ways of working. But how far have we come? Close, but no cigar.

The rationale and drivers for change remain the same today as they were a decade ago. The cost of healthcare is soaring as populations age, with the growing burden of disease placing intolerable pressure on global health systems and economies. As governments explore new ways of finding efficiencies in the public purse, many are introducing value-based models that reimburse medicines based on the…

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PhRMA members announce new commitment to improve transparency in medicine costs, but will it be enough?

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PhRMA members announce new commitment to improve transparency in medicine costs, but will it be enough?

To help patients make more informed health care decisions, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) member companies today announced their commitment to providing more transparency about medicine costs. PhRMA member companies’ direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertisements will soon direct patients to information about medicine costs, including the list price of the medicine, out-of-pocket costs or other context about the potential cost of the medicine and available financial assistance. The biopharmaceutical industry will also launch a new platform that will provide patients, caregivers and providers with cost and financial assistance information for brand-name medicines, as well as other patient support resources.

“Our member companies are taking a new approach to how they communicate about medicines in DTC television advertisements to make it easier for patients to access information about medicine costs,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA. “The Administration and Congress have called on our industry to provide cost information in DTC advertisements, and our members are voluntarily stepping up to the plate.”

On October 2, the PhRMA Board of Directors adopted enhancements to PhRMA’s voluntary DTC principles, Guiding Principles on Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements About Prescription Medicines (originally adopted in 2006). The DTC Principles have been expanded…

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Why all the negativity around NHI in South Africa? | Carapinha & Company

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Why all the negativity around NHI in South Africa? | Carapinha & Company

Why all the negativity around national health insurance (NHI) in South Africa? There is so much bad news such as comments by the Solidarity Research Institute that NHI will collapse the healthcare system, the Free Market Foundation believes the NHI will be a gateway for corruption, and Alex van den Heever at Wits University thinks NHI will deteriorate both the public and private healthcare systems. In other words, South Africa should not implement NHI according to these negative views, and the dual healthcare financing and delivery system should continue, broadly divided between the public and the private healthcare systems. All this bad news seems to overlook that there is a positive side to implementing NHI. So we’ve compiled a list of the eight positive and eight negative aspects related to NHI. The list is not exhaustive, there’s a lot more that we could add, but the purpose is to encourage a balanced and critical perspective on NHI in South Africa. For example, few would disagree financial risk protection is a crucial element of NHI, but wholesale inefficiencies in a large state-run agency may erode the benefits of averting catastrophic healthcare expenditure.

What do you think? Do the negatives outweigh the…

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Civitas uninhabitable for workers, says PSA

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Civitas uninhabitable for workers, says PSA

The Civitas Building in Pretoria (South Africa), home of the Department of Health, requires major attention to be compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) will be taking the Department of Health to task for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act by letting employees work in an uninhabitable building.

It has accused the department of continually failing to address the poor and appalling working conditions at the Civitas building in Pretoria.

Deputy general manager of the organisation Tahir Maepa said the poor state of the building had been raised with the department earlier this year.

At the time, it had been found to be a health risk by the National Occupational Safety Association.

According to Maepa, in a communication sent to employees on April 20 by the department’s director-general, workers were informed of emergency repairs and maintenance.

The workers were to only operate from the building until 1pm. However, that had not been the case as work continued as normal, Maepa said.

“It is disturbing, to say the least, that the department has not complied with these commitments; three months later employees are still reporting illnesses related to unconducive working conditions,” the organisation’s…

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12 reasons why you should be worried about government’s NHI

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12 reasons why you should be worried about government’s NHI

Solidarity Research Institute has highlighted 12 of the biggest lingering concerns around the planned National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, pointing out some seemingly insurmountable challenges that are yet to be addressed in any capacity by the government.

In June, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi presented both the National Health Insurance and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bills.

The new legislation will pave the way for more access to medical healthcare through National Health Insurance (NHI), and represents a massive shake-up to both the governmental and the private healthcare systems.

However, while the bills outline the general plan for the NHI, they both lacked any details – particularly on how the scheme will be funded, and how government plans to cover the many pitfalls inherent to its plans.

According to Solidarity researchers, Nicolien Welthagen and Morné Malan, the NHI faces a host of problems – not only the pertinent question of funding.

These are outlined in the 12 points below:

Funding

Solidarity has previously noted that the costs associated with the NHI in the white paper has been understated – and Motsoaledi himself has admitted that the estimates were just guesses. The group anticipates that R369 billion in extra tax would need to be…

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US probes pharma firms accused of aiding Iraqi militia that killed Americans

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US probes pharma firms accused of aiding Iraqi militia that killed Americans

Michael Chand was working in south-east Iraq as a civilian contractor for American reconstruction efforts when his convoy was attacked in 2007 by forces believed to be loyal to then firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

At first, his family were told he was shot and killed. They later learned he was being held hostage at a time when militant attacks on American forces were at their bloodiest.

His body was returned three years later, bearing the hallmarks of torture.

Now his widow is one of the dozens of bereaved relatives who accuse big international pharmaceutical companies of helping bankroll the Mahdi Army in its campaign of violence through kickbacks of medicine and supplies given to the Iraqi ministry of health which was then under Mr Al Sadr’s control.

For Washington, Mr Al Sadr has been the most vocal opponent of the American war. His militias were blamed for deadly attacks on a US-backed political opponent and soldiers, triggering an arrest warrant for murder that was never executed. But in recent years he has moved away from his openly anti-US stance and the position in Washington has softened.

The five pharmaceutical companies deny the allegations but this week it emerged…

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