Posts Tagged “Distribution”

USA: Purdue Pharma Executives Discussed Expanding Into the Addiction Treatment Market

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USA: Purdue Pharma Executives Discussed Expanding Into the Addiction Treatment Market

Not content with billions of dollars in profits from the potent painkiller OxyContin, its maker explored expanding into an “attractive market” fueled by the drug’s popularity—treatment of opioid addiction, according to previously secret passages in a court document filed by the state of Massachusetts.

In internal correspondence beginning in 2014, Purdue Pharma executives discussed how the sale of opioids and the treatment of opioid addiction are “naturally linked” and that the company should expand across “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to redacted sections of the lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general. A member of the billionaire Sackler family, which founded and controls the privately held company, joined in those discussions and urged staff in an email to give “immediate attention” to this business opportunity, the complaint alleges.

ProPublica reviewed the scores of redacted paragraphs in Massachusetts’ 274-page civil complaint against Purdue, eight Sackler family members, company directors, and current and former executives, which alleges that they created the opioid epidemic through illegal deceit. These passages remain blacked out at the company’s request after the rest of the complaint was made public on January 15th. A Massachusetts Superior Court judge on Monday ordered that the entire document be released, but…

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Should Sub-Saharan Africa Make Its Own Drugs?

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Should Sub-Saharan Africa Make Its Own Drugs?

With imports comprising as much as 70 to 90 percent of drugs consumed in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, many governments are considering whether it’s time to promote more local production. Drug imports, including both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, do considerably exceed those into China and India—where comparable populations import around 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively. And it does put strain on government and household budgets and already limited foreign exchanges.

To better understand the realities of promoting local drug production, we undertook a systematic analysis of the current state of the market. The analysis focused on simple, small molecules, such as generic drugs, since the economics and technical challenges would vary for more complex products, such as combination drugs, injectables, and vaccines. We evaluated the costs and benefits of increasing production not only in economic terms but also in their impact on the wider economy and on public health systems. We then compared that to local measures of feasibility, including government will, demand, investment attractiveness, and implementation capacity, especially with respect to quality (Exhibit 1).

The analysis depicts an opportunity that varies from country to country. In some countries, a manufacturing hub is unlikely to be economical. In a half…

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USA: Kaleo increases naloxone price by 600% over 4 years.

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USA: Kaleo increases naloxone price by 600% over 4 years.

In the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic, the price of one company’s version of a life-saving drug, naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, has skyrocketed.

According to a new investigative report by Senators Rob Portman (R-OD) and Tom Carper (D-DE), drug company Kaleo has increased the price of its version of the drug (brand name: EVZIO) a whopping 600 percent, from $575 to $4,100, during the last four years. The drug can treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.

The report’s executive summary states that Kaleo hiked the price of the drug in February 2016 and “launched its new distribution model planning to ‘capitalize on the opportunity’ of ‘opioid overdose at epidemic levels’ and a ‘well established public health crisis.’”

More than 70,000 people died due to drug-related overdoses in 2017, according to data from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least two-thirds of those deaths were linked to opioid misuse.

In addition, the report states that the company’s sales force pressured doctors’ offices to sign paperwork (known as prior authorizations) in order to fill and cover EVZIO prescriptions, rather than prescribe generic versions of naloxone, which could be cheaper.

“This included paperwork indicating that EVZIO was medically necessary, which ensured the drug would be covered by government programs like Medicare and Medicaid for the Wholesale Acquisition…

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Malaysia: more affordable medicines anticipated through changes to the “Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011”

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Malaysia: more affordable medicines anticipated through changes to the “Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011”

The Ministry of Health (MoH) will be proposing a mechanism to control the prices of drugs through the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 to the ensure affordability of medicines.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) said the proposed price control mechanism is to set a ceiling selling price for consumers in all dispense channels, which is viewed as the most suitable method to do so, in line with international best practices.

“Such an initiative will indirectly streamline the prices of medicines and ensure the people to have access to affordable medicines,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Dr Dzulkefly was replying to a question from Klang MP Charles Santiago who wanted to know the measures taken by the ministry to standardise the price of medicines in the country and steps to reduce them.

He added that the ministry had taken into consideration the interests of all parties including industry players, medical practitioners and the people when it comes to detailing the proposed drug price control mechanism.

Replying to a supplementary question from Santiago on the prices of drugs in Malaysia being 30% to 180% higher than other countries, Dr Dzulkefly said the government acknowledges the situation and that…

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Why Pharma Risk Is Inherently Unpredictable And Why It Matters

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Why Pharma Risk Is Inherently Unpredictable And Why It Matters

Why does it matter if drug development is inherently unpredictable and not simply high risk?

The question strikes many in an industry with an end-to-end success rate of between 2% and 3% as (a) obvious and (b) irrelevant. Yet I would argue that the failure to distinguish between high and inherently unpredictable risk is a principal cause of pharma’s potentially catastrophic decline in productivity .

Many of the best practitioners persist in operating as if drug development were simply high-risk–with lamentable consequences. Through skill or scale they believe that they can tip the odds in their favor. More insight and effort, new tools, smarter researchers—e.g. someone who had a blockbuster drug approved in the past–will produce the growth the industry needs.

They are wrong. After 40 years, the innovation crisis shows no signs of abating, despite remarkable advances in both knowledge and technology.

What evidence is there that drug development is inherently unpredictable?

The performance of a business is measured by return-on-investment (ROI), sales minus costs. Returns in pharma are approaching zero and headed negative. Investors provide capital in the expectation of returns. The probability of achieving those returns is risk. To understand risk in an industry, one must look…

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South Africa: Health Minister explains chronic underspending in various areas including NHI

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South Africa: Health Minister explains chronic underspending in various areas including NHI

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi defended the slow spending  in National Health Insurance (NHI) programmes overseen by his department, saying he had anticipated that the money would be needed for other purposes.

Treasury documents show that only 10.4% of the NHI indirect grant allocated for the 2018/2019 fiscal year had been spent by the middle of the year, or September 30. The Treasury redirected R546m from the grant to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment to fill 2,200 critical health vacancies and purchase beds and linen, which he made when he announced his economic stimulus package in September.

“I did not push that that money was spent because I was warned as early as May we might not get any new money, that we might have to reprioritise [the budget] … and the NHI money was mentioned. I realised if we rush using this money for new things, it will be a crisis for the country,” said the minister.

“I really don’t regard it as underspending. It was a strategic way of solving problems that are here and now,” he said at an event in Cape Town hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Figures provided by the department of health…

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Saudi Conference with MoH focused on heart failure management

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Saudi Conference with MoH focused on heart failure management

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Heart Failure Group, the Saudi Pharmaceutical Distribution Co. Ltd., a Novartis company, organized a cardiac conference targeting heart patients in Jeddah.

Held under the auspices of Dr. Tarif Al-Aamy, undersecretary for therapeutic affairs at the Ministry of Health, the conference was attended by physicians, cardiologists and other healthcare professionals from all over Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Waleed Al-Habeeb, President of Saudi Heart Failure Group, shed light on the heart diseases, its upward rates, and the risks of mortality among the patients, which exceed the mortality rates of cancer.

Al-Habeeb stressed the significant role that can be played by globally unifying the developmental efforts in order to identify the causes and management of heart failure and understand the most effective ways of treating it.

“This conference is part of those efforts, as it acts as a platform embracing right information about heart failure, and a valuable initiative in which all the efforts of the committed companies and other entities are mutually exerted to help improve the patients’ quality of life and to innovate unbeaten medical solutions, in line with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the National Transition Program 2020,”…

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AstraZeneca is making great progress in China’s pharmaceutical market and bringing innovations to market

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AstraZeneca is making great progress in China’s pharmaceutical market and bringing innovations to market

During CIIE 2018, AstraZeneca will present 30 drugs it has brought to China over the past two decades. Chinese patients will be the first to benefit from the innovative medicine.

As the second largest multinational pharmaceutical company in China, AstraZeneca’s innovation will benefit not only Chinese patients but industry partners and the global market.

First coming to China in 1993, AstraZeneca’s sales in China totaled US$2.96 billion in 2017 and China holds an important strategic position in AstraZeneca’s global R&D, operations and commercial innovation.

“AstraZeneca has benefited from opening up and reform and at the same time we have been an active contributor. Our innovative business models will soon be extended to other markets,” said Leon Wang, Executive Vice President, International and China President at AstraZeneca.

In an evolving culture, every company wants to attract and retain the best talent. AstraZeneca is actively adjusting its business strategy in China, and local innovation has been an important step. The aim is to break the boundaries of science and delivering life-changing drugs.

That goal is in everything AstraZeneca does, a reason to go to work every day. It helps bring benefits to Chinese patients and creates value for shareholders. This pioneering business…

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Medicines stolen in South Africa go to the USA, UK and Sweden

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Medicines stolen in South Africa go to the USA, UK and Sweden

A suspect was arrested at Kenilworth post office on Wednesday after he handed in envelopes containing scheduled drugs destined for the US.

A bootload of pharmaceuticals has been seized as part of a Hawks probe into an alleged illegal medicine distribution network involving multiple countries.

The Hawks said on Friday that the South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (Saneb) together with the Wynberg Visible Policing Unit “disrupted an illegal medicine distribution worth R1m, through an intelligence-led operation.”

Capt Philani Nkwalase said a suspect was arrested at the Kenilworth post office on Wednesday after he handed in envelopes containing scheduled medicines that were destined for the US.

“Preliminary investigations led to a search and seizure at the suspect’s premises in Kenilworth‚” said Nkwalase.

“Another suspect was arrested at the premises‚ upon uncovering more alleged schedule medicine and documentation of order-trails for countries such as the USA‚ UK and Sweden.”

Packaging kits as well as the vehicle used in the commission of crime were seized.

A couple was subsequently arrested and is expected to appear at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of contravening the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act‚ read with the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act‚ Nkwalase said.

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NHI in South Africa is a big deal, we are discussing it, but where are the details?

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NHI in South Africa is a big deal, we are discussing it, but where are the details?

While debates rage about the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in South Africa and its shortcomings, Wits School of Governance professor of public governance Robbie van Niekerk says it is “a big idea” everyone should be discussing.

He says this is perhaps the most significant social policy introduced since the advent of democracy as it deals directly with the inequality of resource distribution between social classes. Health provision is a public good that affects all inhabitants of SA.

“I don’t think we have reached the point of a societal foundation because we failed to effectively communicate to the mass of society the scale of the inequality and the long-term benefits of a universal public health system as originally envisaged by the NHI,” says Van Niekerk. “That is a troubling element in how this debate is unfolding. It’s a wake-up call.”

In SA, 50% of yearly health spending — public and private combined — is incurred by the 16% of the population covered by medical aid and the other 50% on the 84% of the population wholly reliant on public health or those who make small payments for private health care.

Van Niekerk says: “Is it any wonder that our service delivery system is…

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