Posts Tagged “Pharmaceutical company”

Drug companies are putting a price on the lives of those with cystic fibrosis | Isabelle Jani-Friend | Opinion

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Drug companies are putting a price on the lives of those with cystic fibrosis | Isabelle Jani-Friend | Opinion

Placing a life-changing drug beyond the reach of NHS Scotland is cruel, says recent graduate Isabelle Jani-Friend. At 7am, I wake up and, while most people are starting their days, having breakfast and making their way to work, I – like the 10,400 people in the UK with cystic fibrosis – am beginning my daily treatment regime. For me, this involves a concoction of 30 tablets to fuel my morning, each with their own variety of debilitating side-effects, from sickness to dizziness and fatigue. The morning calm is disturbed by my noisy inhalation machine as I breathe in medications, while a positive pressure machine helps me cough up thick, sticky mucus from my lungs, which takes another hour. All in all, it’s a glamorous way to start the day.

And it doesn’t stop there. Every time I eat, I have to take enzymes to help me digest my food, and I take a regular dose of painkillers to help me get through the aches and pains. It’s a constant reminder of my disability and all the limitations it has on me living a “normal” life. After a long and exhausting day, my medication routine is repeated in the evening, with…

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USA: Trump wants to slash drug rebate deals. Will it make a difference?

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USA: Trump wants to slash drug rebate deals. Will it make a difference?

Few consumers have heard of the secret, business-to-business payments that the Trump administration wants to ban in an attempt to control drug costs.

But the administration’s plan for drug rebates, announced Thursday, would end the pharmaceutical business as usual, shift billions in revenue and cause far-reaching, unforeseen change, say health policy authorities.

In pointed language sure to anger middlemen who benefit from the deals, administration officials proposed banning rebates paid by drug companies to ensure coverage for their products under Medicare and Medicaid plans.

“A shadowy system of kickbacks,” was how Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar described the current system in a Friday speech.

The proposal is a regulatory change applying only to Medicare plans for seniors and managed Medicaid plans for low-income people. But private insurers, who often take cues from government programs, might make a similar shift, administration officials said.

Drug rebates are essentially discounts off the list price. Outlawing them would divert $29 billion in rebates now paid to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers into “seniors’ pocketbooks at the pharmacy counter,” Azar said.

The measure already faces fierce opposition from some in the industry and is unlikely to be implemented as presented or by the…

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Egypt, the Arab country turning to ‘female Viagra’

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Egypt, the Arab country turning to ‘female Viagra’

As Egypt becomes the first Arab country to authorise the production and sale of a drug meant to boost the female libido, the BBC’s Sally Nabil explores whether there’s a market for it in such a socially conservative country.

“I felt drowsy and dizzy, and my heart was racing.”

This is how Leila felt after taking her first pill of the so-called “female Viagra” – chemically known as flibanserin.

The drug was first authorised for use in the US almost three years ago, and is now being produced in Egypt by a local pharmaceutical company.

Leila – not her real name – is a conservative housewife in her mid-30s. She prefers to conceal her identity as, like many women in Egypt, talking about sexual problems and sexual needs is still very much a taboo.

After almost 10 years of marriage, she says she decided to get the drug “out of mere curiosity”.

Leila, who has no health problems, bought the drug without a prescription – a very common practice in Egypt, where people can buy many medicines over the counter.

“The pharmacist told me to take a pill every night for a few weeks. He said there would be no…

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Pharma companies could do more to improve access to medicines, says report

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Pharma companies could do more to improve access to medicines, says report

A ranking of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies finds that progress in expanding access to medicines in poorer countries is concentrated among five pharmaceutical companies and on five diseases. Novartis and Roche both moved up in the ranking to 2nd and 10th, respectively.

The 2018 Access to Medicine Index external link, published on Tuesday, is an independent ranking of 20 of the leading pharmaceutical companies on their efforts to improve access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries.

British pharmaceutical company GSK retained its position at the top of the index for the sixth year in a row followed by Basel-based Novartis, which jumped one spot ahead of Johnson & Johnson and Merck KGaA. The other Swiss company in the ranking, Roche, jumped nine spots into the top ten.

The index, which is supported by the UK and Dutch governments and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, measures companies in seven areas of corporate behaviour including research and development (R&D), pricing, and product donations.

Swiss highs and lows

Novartis was the top scorer in the category of general management, which includes aspects such as companies’ level of commitment and transparency. The index praised the company’s commitment to integrate access strategies…

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MassHealth: high-cost drugs with no competition are driving significant cost increases

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MassHealth: high-cost drugs with no competition are driving significant cost increases

FROM THE BEGINNING of the Baker-Polito Administration, managing MassHealth has been a top priority.  We are pleased with the progress made to date, including its first major systems overhaul in 20 years, implementing strong internal controls, and reducing the growth rate from double digit numbers.  However, it is evident that additional major structural reforms are required going forward in order to sustain that momentum. One major cost driver is MassHealth pharmacy spending.  Over the past five years, pharmacy costs have doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion even as enrollment has decreased from 1.91 million to 1.86 million members.

While the pharmaceutical industry cites low national drug cost growth across all insurance, for MassHealth, our reality is that we have experienced a 20 percent increase in per member drug costs since 2015.  High-cost drugs with little or no competition are driving overall MassHealth growth.  We have utilized every tool available under current statutory and federal authorities; this administration’s aggressive rebate negotiations have led to over $320 million in annual rebates by achieving an increase in rebate level from 34 percent to 51 percent over five years.  In fact, Massachusetts was one of the very first states to use competitive procurements…

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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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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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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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“South Africa’s health system is in crisis”, says Deputy President

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“South Africa’s health system is in crisis”, says Deputy President

South Africa health system is in crisis and needs urgent attention to be put to right, Deputy President David Mabuza said.

Addressing delegates at a two-day presidential health summit in Boksburg, he said both the public and private sectors faced challenges that compromised patient care.

“We need a systemic change that will outlive us and become a gift to the new generation,” he said.

The summit highlights the importance President Cyril Ramaphosa is attaching to healthcare, and follows a similar meeting he convened on National Health Insurance (NHI) in August. His economic stimulus package, announced in September, contained a commitment to reprioritise government spending that included filling 2,200 critical health posts and the purchase of essential items such as linen and beds. He also announced a R400bn infrastructure fund, which is expected to include an allocation for health.

The summit has attracted 800 senior representatives from business, civil society, labour and academia, and includes top executives from the private hospital groups, pharmaceutical companies and the medical schemes industry.

Mabuza said the president had assumed stewardship of the NHI process and improving the health system “to ensure the country can achieve affordable quality healthcare within a reasonable time”.

Sketching the challenges…

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Sandoz’s Healthcare Access Challenge to leverage digital tech to address local healthcare access challenges

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Sandoz’s Healthcare Access Challenge to leverage digital tech to address local healthcare access challenges

German pharmaceutical company Sandoz has announced the launch of the second edition of its Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge. The Sandoz Hack is a global competition that invites entrepreneurs and innovators to submit ideas that can complement — or even disrupt — established approaches to driving access to healthcare. Building on last year’s inaugural Sandoz Hack — which focused on mobile health — this year’s competition expands to seek broader digital solutions to local healthcare access challenges. This year’s theme is “Leveraging digital technologies to solve healthcare access challenges”, encouraging ideas that can drive patient access or help healthcare providers to reach more people. Applications close on 30 November.

Three short-listed entrants, to be announced in January, will receive support from Sandoz experts to develop their ideas and transform potential into real impact. In addition, the three finalists will be flown to Austin, Texas in March next year to attend South by Southwest (SXSW). Following in-person selection, one winner will be chosen and awarded seed funding and support from Sandoz to help bring their idea to life. In a statement last week, Sandoz CEO and division head Richard Francis pointed out that there are still two billion in the world who are not getting…

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