Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 1, 2015


1. A new Congressional report criticized Gilead Sciences for how it priced Harvoni and Sovaldi. According to the report, which was released by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the drugmaker priced the two hepatitis-C medications to maximize revenue rather than to make treatment widely accessible. (Bloomberg Business)

2. Branded prescription drugs are generally cheaper in the rest of the world than in the US. The findings are based on a Wall Street Journal analysis of how drug prices in several countries compared to Medicare Part B prices. Looking at drug prices in Norway, for example, the Journal found US prices were higher for 93% of the 40 top branded drugs available in both countries. (WSJ)

3. Support is growing among Americans of both major political parties to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, according to results of a new poll. Roughly seven in 10 respondents said Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower drug prices. Two-thirds of Republicans polled support such negotiating, the poll found. (Stat News)

4. A unit of UnitedHealth Group will opt for Sanofi's and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Praluent injection for cholesterol control instead of Amgen's Repatha. Oxford covers roughly 1.2 million people in the Northeast. The drugs are both PCSK9 inhibitors and cost about $14,000 for a year of treatment. (Bloomberg Business)

5. The number of new US diabetes cases fell in 2014 compared to 2008, the first decline in roughly 25 years, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center reported 1.4 million new cases of diabetes in 2014, down from 1.7 million new cases in 2008. While it is unclear what caused the decline, some experts point to a change in eating habits for Americans in recent years. (NYT)