Current Issue - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Current Issue

Turning Patients onto Tablet PCs

September 1, 2007

From pamphlets to posters to informational magazines, doctors' offices are teeming with direct-to-patient promotions, and patients are starting to overlook them. To cut through the clutter, one healthcare-technology company created a device that replaces the common intake clipboard with a digital pad that collects patient information and responds with branded information.

Industry Audit 2007

September 1, 2007

For the sixth year in a row, Pharm Exec invites Professor Bill Trombetta of St. Joseph’s University to analyze the pharma industry's financial performance with a battery of business metrics, old and new. The highlights: Genentech pulls ahead of its longtime rival, Amgen. Forest delivers another strong performance, despite dropping revenue. Schering-Plough is building enterprise value. Biogen Idec racks up a stellar profit margin. And Merck? Well, Merck is back, baby. And the winner is…

The Lesser of Two Evils

September 1, 2007

Is the American Medical Association's (AMA) Prescribing Data Restriction Program (PDRP) the answer to physicians' privacy concerns, or will it just hamper the relationship between rep and doc? Observant LLC recently gauged reactions to the PDRP and doctors' expectancies of how this initiative affects physicians' practices and their relationships with pharmaceutical representatives. The findings suggest that the initiative may have paradoxical negative implications for physicians.

What Do You Say?

September 1, 2007

In this issue, a longtime contributor to this magazine, former FDA official, and generally thoughtful, knowledgeable person concludes his excellent three-part series on drug safety with a look at how risk is communicated to patients and doctors. It's a fine, detailed, subtle piece of work, and I recommend it to you. (See "Failure to Communicate".)

Will They Say You Were a Scrooge or a Saint?

September 1, 2007

This piece has nothing to do with the Blackstone Group or its CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman. Well, maybe just a little.

Web 2.0—Consumers on Demand

September 1, 2007

For pharma marketers, understanding the on-demand opportunity starts with recognizing that customers are, in many ways, ahead of the industry

Paying for Safety

September 1, 2007

As expected, must-pass legislation to reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA IV) has provided a vehicle to renew numerous programs and to establish new policies to ensure the safe use of medications. The measure implements a user-fee agreement issued in January 2007 as well as a similar user-fee plan for medical devices. It also continues incentives for sponsors to study pediatric uses of drugs and devices and gives FDA authority to require postapproval studies. Manufacturers will have to disclose more information about ongoing clinical trials and research results and must revise product labels within a set time frame. There is more funding for FDA oversight of postmarket drug use and for agency information systems. And manufacturers of more risky medications will have to adopt a range of pharmacovigilance activities to ensure appropriate product use.

Counterfeit Drugs, One Click Away

September 1, 2007

If it looks too good to be true.... The price is unbeatable, the Web site proudly displays an accreditation seal of approval, medicines are advertised as "generics" of the branded versions (implying bioequivalence with respect to safety and efficacy), and patients never have to leave their homes. Marcia Bergeron, a 57-year-old Canadian resident likely had these things in mind when she purchased antianxiety and sedative medication from an online pharmacy. The pills she received from the Web site, however, caused hair loss and vision problems, and ultimately resulted in her death. The coroner's toxicology report showed that the pills she purchased online were laced with traces of dangerous metals, including uranium, strontium, selenium, aluminum, and arsenic. Bergeron, like many others around the world, was a victim of the counterfeit-medicine business, an industry that the US-based Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI) predicts will reach $75 billion in sales globally by 2010.

Incentives Incense Industry in UK

September 1, 2007

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry is challenging the UK government over the financial incentives being offered by the Department of Health (DH) to encourage doctors to switch patients from on-patent medicines to specific generic alternatives. ABPI believes the way the incentives are structured contravenes EU law—if pharma companies were to offer similar payments, they would be in serious trouble.

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