Business briefs: Mayo Clinic, GSK, Lundbeck, Biogen Idec
According to a Mayo Clinic study—published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings—nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one prescription drug, and more than half are taking two. Of the drugs surveyed, antidepressants and opioids were the most commonly used treatments among young- and middle-aged adults. Cardiovascular drugs were most common among older adults. Women received more prescriptions than men across several therapeutic categories, especially antidepressants. Nearly a quarter of women age 50-64 are on an antidepressant, the authors said.
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is investing $23.5 million into a new venture fund intended to assist companies developing drugs for rare diseases, Reuters reports. The fund, dubbed Kurma Biofund II, has raised €44 million ($58 million) to date. GSK is also co-developing a drug with Prosensa for the rare disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Lundbeck announced a restructuring today it said could lead to a culling of 50-55 positions. The Danish drug maker is dividing its commercial operations into six regions: Europe, USA, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East & Global Distribution. Lundbeck said the goal for the restructuring is to “reduce complexity, increase organizational efficiency and free up resources to invest in Lundbeck's many new medicines and growth platform.”
Dow Jones reported that Biogen Idec's Tecfidera is on-track to hit $1billion in annual sales its first year on the market, despite shortages and supply woes. The multiple sclerosis treatment isn't out of the woods, though, as it still faces insurance hurdles for patient reimbursement. According to Clyde Markowitz, a neurologist and director of the University of Pennsylvania's MS Center, some insurers require proof that patients have found other treatment options ineffective before approving reimbursement for Tecifidera. Markowitz also pointed out overwhelming patient awareness on the new medication: “I'm just amazed at how patient-driven conversation is going—almost every single patient who comes into my office knows about it.”