Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, February 18, 2016

Photo credit: King-of-Herrings/Creative Commons

1. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced legislation last week that would prevent drugmakers from launching direct-to-consumer ads for drugs within three years of approval. The bill would only allow DTC advertising during that timeframe if it provides “affirmative value to public health.” (Responsibility in Drug Advertising Act of 2016)

2. Testosterone replacement treatment for older men helps improve their sexual function but only minimally improves energy levels and walking ability. The results stem from a $50 million testosterone trial, funded in part by the federal government. Critics have said that testosterone replacement therapy sales have been driven by ads, and risks haven't been documented. (WSJ)

3. Drugmakers sometimes use one narrator to talk about the benefits of a drug in a DTC ad, and another narrator to talk about the risks, using a less engaging voice. Doing this may make it harder for the viewer to understand the risks. (Stat)

4. The FDA said it needed more information about Catalyst Pharmaceutical's investigational drug to treat a rare disease called Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome before the drug is approved. Another company, Jacobus Pharmaceutical, which has provided the drug for free for year, is also pursuing FDA approval. (NYT)

5. Britain's healthcare cost watchdog said Alexion Pharmaceutical's $704,000 treatment for lysosomal acid lipase deficiency may be worth using in babies. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also said it does not represent a good value for all patients. (Reuters)