Posts Tagged “Parkinson’s”

Health advocates say schizophrenia should be reclassified as a brain disease

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Health advocates say schizophrenia should be reclassified as a brain disease

Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimers, instead of as a mental illness, a move that could reduce stigma and lead to more dollars for a cure. Federal health officials, scientists and doctors say conditions that cause psychosis, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are poorly understood and, in the public mind, often associated with violent behavior. Patients are more likely to be homeless, incarcerated, commit suicide and die younger than those with any other neurological diseases.

“Look at the disconnect in the way these patients are treated. It’s unconscionable,” said Raymond Cho, professor of psychiatry research at Baylor College of Medicine and chairman of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America. His group is among those focusing on appropriators in Congress — particularly those who have championed mental health in the past — to include schizophrenia in a new CDC program that aims to collect data on the prevalence and risk factors of neurological conditions in the U.S. population. The findings could eventually be used to push the World Health Organization to reclassify the disorder — a complicated process that may take years. The…

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MoH UAE unveils smart application for AI-based remote patient monitoring

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MoH UAE unveils smart application for AI-based remote patient monitoring

DUBAI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has unveiled the smart application “Medopad” for remotely monitoring the body’s vital signs in accordance with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, during its participation at Arab Health 2019.

The application aims to analyse patient’s information and generate predictive insights which will be able to detect life threatening medical conditions.

Medopad application, which has been tailored according to patients’ needs, collects data through devices connected to the platform and supports self-management through dashboard available on both IOS and Android systems. Thus, the application tracks the most important daily activities of the user, so that the medical care teams will be able to provide better care that suits every person by remotely analysing, reviewing and documenting patients’ data and information.

Medopad also has a wide range of educational and awareness content to assist patients including a wide spectrum of rare and complicated diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis M.S., kidney and heart diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, pre and post-operative care and others diseases.

Commenting on the launching of the application, Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Ministry’s Hospitals Sector, underscored the importance of adopting this technology in light of the…

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Cerevel Therapeutics launched: a JV between Bain Capital and Pfizer focused on CNS

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Cerevel Therapeutics launched: a JV between Bain Capital and Pfizer focused on CNS

Bain Capital, LP and Pfizer Inc have launched new biopharma company focused on developing drug candidates to treat disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Named Cerevel Therapeutics, Pfizer is contributing a portfolio of pre-commercial neuroscience assets to Cerevel, which include three clinical-stage compounds and several pre-clinical compounds designed to target a broad range of CNS disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia and addiction.

Funds affiliated with Bain Capital Private Equity and Bain Capital Life Sciences have committed $350mn with the ability to provide additional capital should it be needed in the future.

Bain Capital is a leading global private investment firm with 19 offices on four continents and deep experience in healthcare. The new company will aim to expand treatment options in a therapeutic area where there is an urgent unmet need for patients.

Bain Capital and Pfizer will support Cerevel in building a dedicated team of CNS scientists and life sciences executives with extensive experience in clinical development of potential therapies for patients who have neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases.

The most advanced assets in the portfolio are a D1 partial agonist which will likely enter Phase III in 2019 to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and a…

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UAE patients have the best access to healthcare in the Middle East

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UAE patients have the best access to healthcare in the Middle East

Patients in the United Arab Emirates have the best access to healthcare in the Middle East as the country rolls out mandatory medical insurance and harnesses new technology for disease treatment.

The UAE earned the highest regional score on the Middle East Healthcare Access Index compiled by BMI Research, a unit of Fitch group, according to a report released on Friday. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman followed while Iraq trailed the list with the lowest score.

“Advanced healthcare systems and compulsory health insurance in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the continuous adoption of new technologies in the healthcare system will support the UAE’s position,” the report said.

“Innovation in clinical services and the use of new technologies in disease diagnosis and treatment will drive a more patient-centric healthcare system.”

Spending on health care in the Arabian Gulf is projected to grow at an average of 6.6 per cent annually to $104.6 billion (Dh384.2bn) in 2022 from an estimated $76.1bn in 2017, according to a March report by Alpen Capital.

An expanding population, high prevalence of non-communicable disease, rising cost of treatment and increasing availability of health insurance are the main factors driving growth.

The BMI report found that new technologies…

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GSK bets $300 million on genetics as CEO plays down break-up talk

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GSK bets $300 million on genetics as CEO plays down break-up talk

GlaxoSmithKline aims to turbo-charge its drug discovery engine with a big bet on genetics as its CEO on Wednesday played down the idea of hiving off consumer healthcare, which is a source of cash generation for such R&D investment.

GSK is buying a $300 million stake in the Silicon Valley gene testing company 23andMe, giving it exclusive access to the Google-backed firm’s vast DNA database.

The move was announced alongside a raised forecast for 2018 profit growth, due to strong sales of new shingles vaccine Shingrix, benefits from taking full ownership of consumer health and delays in U.S. generic versions of its lung drug Advair.

The 23andMe deal won’t yield new products overnight but new R&D head Hal Barron says it will accelerate GSK’s drug development work, which has lagged behind rivals in producing multibillion-dollar blockbuster drugs.

GSK’s pharmaceuticals business – its biggest unit – has seen sluggish growth in recent years and the group reported flat overall revenue in the second quarter, although the result was slightly better than analysts had forecast.

Chief Executive Emma Walmsley said she was “increasingly confident” GSK would deliver mid to high single digit percentage earnings growth out to 2020 and the shares rose…

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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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‘Price gouging’ for brand-name drugs comes under fire from health coalition

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Brand-name medication and specialty drugs would be protected from price gouging under a proposal by a Maryland health care coalition.

The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition on Tuesday in Annapolis announced its intention to make prescription drugs more affordable, building off the success of a 2017 price gouging law.

Last year, that law became the first in the nation to prohibit price gouging of generic and off-patent drugs.

The goal moving forward is to make brand name and specialty drugs — including those for multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and more — more affordable, according to a coalition news release.

Prices for specialty drugs rose by an average of nearly 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, marking the largest annual increase in more than a decade, according to a 2017 study by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

AARP researchers found the annual cost of therapy with one specialty drug used on a regular basis was nearly $52,500 in 2015.

Larry Zarzecki, 55, a Baltimore native with Parkinson’s disease, spoke about the high cost of multiple medicines.

After falling due to an episode caused by his condition, shattering vertebrae and learning to walk, talk and feed himself again, Zarzecki founded…

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Many “Firsts” for CDER’s 2017 Drug Approvals Reflect Innovation and Enhanced Patient Care

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In 2017, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved many new drugs never before marketed in the United States, known as “novel” drugs, to help improve people’s health.

Novel drugs often represent innovative therapies for advancing patient care. 2017 was no exception. We approved new treatments for patients with rare diseases such as Batten disease, Chagas disease, and hemophilia A with inhibitors. We also approved new cancer therapies, new antibiotics, and new therapies for patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, tardive dyskinesia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (often called Lou Gehrig’s disease), among many others.

For the past six years, we have summarized our novel drug approvals in an annual report. This year, we expanded the report beyond novel approvals to show a wide range of other drug therapy approvals that help improve health. For example, we approved many new uses for drugs already on the market, extending their benefits and expanding their reach into new populations, such as children. We have also approved new dosage forms for drugs already available. These are the kinds of actions, separate from approving a novel drug, that can also provide important medical value.

How valuable are these other approvals? Let’s look at…

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A Big Pharma-funded charity that helps patients pay for drugs just sued the government

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A charity that helps patients pay for expensive prescription drugs is suing the federal government over what it alleges are unlawful federal restrictions that put a “stranglehold” on its ability to communicate with donors — which happen to be pharmaceutical companies that sell expensive drugs.

Patient-assistance charities have become a mainstay of drug companies’ efforts to ensure patients can afford their products. It’s a circular kind of philanthropy: Drug companies give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to independent nonprofits, which in turn provide financial assistance for patients’ drug co-pays or other medical expenses.

Due to the potentially fraught nature of the relationship, the charities are regulated by the government to ensure that they operate independently and don’t fall afoul of a federal anti-kickback law.

In its lawsuit Monday, Patient Services Inc. (PSI) alleges that federal oversight of its charity has grown, violating its free speech rights and posing a threat to its existence. The charity argues the government is limiting its ability to have basic conversations or communications with donors.

“These restrictions violate our First Amendment right; they prohibit us from communicating truthful and nonmisleading information,” said Neil Millhiser, general counsel of PSI, which offers support to patients with a wide array of…

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