BMS combo would gain heft in melanoma space, say analysts

BMS combo would gain heft in melanoma space, say analysts

The promise of an Opdivo/Yervoy combination, now awaiting FDA approval, has more to do with payer strategy than efficacy, analysts say.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, June 3

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, June 3

Teva is planning to up its stake in Mylan prior to a possible legal challenge; Perrigo acquires GSK OTC portfolio; Express Scripts considers creative ways to drive down drug costs

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, May 27

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, May 27

Express Scripts seeks to pay more for top-performing cancer drugs; Olympus plans to settle marketing investigation; Novartis is collaborating on a robotic pill

FDA panel to review Vertex CF combo therapy on Tuesday

FDA panel to review Vertex CF combo therapy on Tuesday

While the FDA is not required to follow the panel's recommendation, the agency's final decision on Orkambi is crucial to Vertex's future.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, May 4

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, May 4

Drugmakers engage early with insurers; patients push for implant to be pulled from the market; about one-third of new drugs qualify for special approval pathways

Study shows women view health differently than industry thinks they do

Study shows women view health differently than industry thinks they do

A deep dive by the think tank Center for Talent Innovation indicates pharma and payers need to widen their definition of health when communicating with women.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, March 30

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, March 30

UnitedHealth Group buys PBM Catamaran; Sanofi launches Toujeo; Teva acquires Auspex Pharmaceuticals

Top 3 formulary access takeaways for pharma

Top 3 formulary access takeaways for pharma

Here's three items you need to know from our latest managed markets/payer feature: Formulary Fireworks

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, February 24

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, February 24

FDA approves Novartis's Farydak for multiple myeloma; Shire acquires rare-disease drug for $70 million; FTC fines melanoma app marketers.

Rite Aid buys PBM EnvisionRx for $2B

In a bid to compete with CVS Caremark, pharmacy retailer Rite Aid has purchased pharmacy- benefit manager Envision Pharmaceutical Services.

Demonstrating the Special Value in Specialty Therapeutics

Demonstrating the Special Value in Specialty Therapeutics

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 29

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 29

Former FDA chief tells court J&J knew of Risperdal risk, pay-for-delay deals get new court criteria, lawmakers may declare pharmacists healthcare providers.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 23

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 23

Express Scripts takes aim at high-priced cancer drugs; FDA panel recommends approval for Astellas orphan drug; GSK Ebola Vaccine could touch down in Liberia as early as next week.

AbbVie to discount HCV drugs for state HIV programs

A deal struck by the drugmaker calls for state HIV programs to access its HCV combo, Viekira Pak, at a significant discount.

2013 healthcare spending crept upwards

2013 healthcare spending crept upwards

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it is too early to blame a sluggish economy for slow growth.

Gilead may be forced to discount hep. C pills

AbbVie's deal with the PBM Express Scripts has altered the dynamic in hepatitis C price-setting, writes Bloomberg.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 22

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 22

Express Scripts taps AbbVie hep. C drug as exclusive option; AZ first-in-class cancer drug approved; Cubist gains OK for superbug fighter.

Omeros prepares US launch of Omidria

Transitional pass-through reimbursement status clears way for commercialization.

Everyday Health adds payer expert

The media company has added managed-markets expertise to its roster, bringing on the former head of IMS Health's global payer/provider division.

CVS changes name

Parent company CVS Caremark is changing its name to better reflect "its broader health care commitment."

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 15

UK drug-cost watchdog backs Sovaldi, Achillion touts HCV interim results, Avastin's latest cancer indication, Ebola outbreak worsens, COPD drug gets panel nod, and study links quick reviews and black-box warnings.

Employers like "skinny" health plans

These healthcare plans allow employees and employers to avoid ACA penalties but provide little coverage.

Boehringer to cut costs by 15%

Layoffs are reported to be in the offing.

Scotland's NICE dislikes GSK's Anoro

The Scottish Medicines Consortium gave a thumb's down to GSK's drug and a Boehringer COPD drug.

Britain's NICE sidelines Kadcyla

Britain's NICE sidelines Kadcyla

Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has followed through on its Kadcyla objections and has said Roche's breast cancer drug will remain off the National Health Services formulary because it is too expensive.

Site has doctors bid for business

Medibid users auction up care in exchange for a low price.

Express Scripts drops Zohydro, brings back Advair

The PBM dropped 25 more drugs from its formulary.

Biotech Report: Ultra Man

Biotech Report: Ultra Man

Innovation is still valued in the orphan-drug space, but the reimbursement bar is rising. NPS Pharma's Eric Pauwels, who's launched five ultra-rare disease products, explains how these biotech brands can demonstrate their value. Marc Iskowitz reports

Gilead, Merck HCV marketing battle may be on horizon

Gilead, Merck HCV marketing battle may be on horizon

Disclosed in its earnings report yesterday, Gilead may have a card up its sleeve to counter Merck's experimental hep. C combo regimen.

Senators press Gilead over Sovaldi price

Senators press Gilead over Sovaldi price

In the latest chapter in the Sovaldi pricing saga, Senators Ron Wyden and Charles Grassley urge Gilead to clarify Sovaldi sticker shock.

Experiment cuts cancer costs, ups drug spend

UnitedHealthcare finds drug costs more than doubled.

France ponders off-label Avastin

French lawmakers have the chance to vote for off-label use of Avastin, potentially eating into the turf of higher-priced Lucentis.

Insurers put in bid for biosimilar naming

Health insurers and pharmacies signed a letter asking the FDA to require biosimilars and branded biologics to share the same name.

Omega-3 drugs angle for trig-lowering awareness

Omega-3 drugs angle for trig-lowering awareness

Celebrity endorsement, co-pay cards and online edutainment are some of the ways marketers are dueling for attention in the prescription omega-3 space.

CMS site guides patients through insurance coverage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a new site Monday to help patients understand how to use their health coverage.

Italy: Use Avastin off-label

The Italian Medicines Agency is guiding patients away from Roche's costlier AMD-indicated Lucentis.

Oregon seeks HCV Rx waiver

The Oregon Health Plan wants to keep hep. C medications Sovaldi and Olysio off its list of covered treatments.

Cigna expedites Crestor use

Cigna expedites Crestor use

The company signed a deal with AstraZeneca in which high-risk heart disease patients can bypass step therapy and go straight to the branded cholesterol fighter.

CVS specialty goes retail

CVS specialty goes retail

Patients will now be able to submit specialty prescriptions at the national chain's retail stores.

Insurers pay docs to stick to regimens

Companies including WellPoint and Highmark are deploying financial incentives for doctors to stick with recommended cancer treatments.

Teachable moment for new allergy tabs

Teachable moment for new allergy tabs

With pollen season approaching its peak, drugmakers are educating doctors on a new class of allergy tablets. It could be a while before they're made available for patients.

Ad chides Gilead "greed" over Sovaldi pricing

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation took out an ad in some WSJ editions saying the drug threatens to "break the bank."

Janssen submits HCV combo to FDA

The drugmaker sent Olysio + Sovaldi to regulators for an additional indication in HCV patients with liver scarring.

Survey finds pharma and payers not aligned

Survey finds pharma and payers not aligned

An EY report finds that pharma is not only failing to give payers the right type of drug data, but that industry has a lot of trust-building to do before they will accept it.

Bloomberg scrutinizes drug pricing

An analysis by Bloomberg today shows why drug pricing "keeps defying the law of gravity."

Diabetes costliest among non-specialty Rx

Diabetes costliest among non-specialty Rx

Express Scripts said treatments for diabetes are the most expensive of the traditional medications, while specialty drugs are eating up a significant portion of total drug spend.

Merck diversifies its Big Data agenda

Merck diversifies its Big Data agenda

Merck has broadened its analytics approach to include team-ups with a slate of organizations at the intersection of Big Data and health IT.

Young adult ACA enrollment holds steady

Around 25% of 18-34 year-olds have signed up for coverage. Obama's FunnyorDie appearance drives HHS traffic.

Must biosimilar names be distinct? No, experts argue

Must biosimilar names be distinct? No, experts argue

Innovator companies want the FDA to adopt separate names for biosimilars. Manufacturing changes aren't drastic enough to make it necessary, experts argued at an FTC workshop.

Managed Markets: Operation Patient-Centricity

Managed Markets: Operation Patient-Centricity

As the Affordable Care Act rolls out, the behaviorists at MicroMass surveyed stakeholders about the impact on industry. Jessica Brueggeman sorts out the diverse views and asks: Can healthcare reform lead pharma to operationalize its patient focus?

What payer concerns? Sovaldi ahead of curve

What payer concerns? Sovaldi ahead of curve

If the HCV drug's trajectory continues, it could exceed Q1 and 2014 sales forecasts, despite payers' reported unease over price.

Retail pharmacies up consumer satisfaction

Retail pharmacies up consumer satisfaction

A study shows consumers are increasingly pleased with retail pharmacies, compared to mail order pharmacies, which are often considered a key means of driving adherence and lowering healthcare coverage costs.

CMS projects healthcare spending to rise

CMS projects healthcare spending to rise

Researchers says growth will average 5.8% a year between 2012 and 2022. They also anticipate generics will hit a leveling-off point that will drive average Rx prices upwards

Researchers propose new Rx adherence model

Researchers propose new Rx adherence model

Researchers say using additional data points offers greater insight into patient-adherence patterns.

Employer, employee healthcare costs to rise in 2014

Benefits research studies show employers expect to lay out 7% more in healthcare costs in 2014, a move that has not been accompanied by lower employee costs.

CVS joins prescription crackdown

The drugstore chain says it has cut off over-prescribers of tightly controlled medications.

Eylea outduels Lucentis for physician mindshare, survey shows

Eylea outduels Lucentis for physician mindshare, survey shows

Data show doctors are increasingly leaning on Regeneron's Eylea over Roche's Lucentis, as the two battle for share of the wet-AMD market.

Managed Markets: Pursuing the Payer

Managed Markets: Pursuing the Payer

While payers' proclivity for print is well-known, many prefer to receive pharma resources digitally, research shows. Joe Dysart on tools that work for this segment.

Doctors could use more info on health exchanges: study

A new survey of doctors reveals how much they know (or don't) about the looming launch of healthcare exchanges.

Obesity marketing to stay same, despite new AMA designation

Obesity marketing to stay same, despite new AMA designation

Drug makers say the AMA's labeling of obesity as a disease will prompt patient-physician conversations, but they have no plans to overhaul brands' messaging.

Company news: AstraZeneca, Novartis, Teva

AstaZeneca avoids a Lipitor moment, FDA approves Novartis med for Cushing's, and Teva ventures into South Korea. Plus: a closer look at health exchanges

Lilly sales dip 11% as diabetes drugs feel payer pressure

Price increases and belt-tightening helped prop up Eli Lilly's third quarter, but loss of formulary positioning on two key products hurt sales.

IMS pitches expanded real-world evidence platform to pharma

IMS has added claims data to its real-world evidence (RWE) platform, but can it satisfy industry's demand for RWE as well as a payer can?

McCann Health buys global market research consultancy

Double Helix, a healthcare consultancy that operates across three continents, was bought by Interpublic Group's McCann Health, the network said Monday.

Pharmas are from Mars, Payers are from Venus

Pharma needs to step up its sales pitch, looking beyond a drug's top attributes, to convince payers that their drugs are worth the cost.

Millennium CEO says industry must brace for change

Millennium CEO says industry must brace for change

The drug industry is struggling with more than expiring patents and shrinking sales forces, Millennium Pharmaceuticals CEO Deborah Dunsire told industry watchers Tuesday. Rather, it's wrestling with a top-to-bottom revolution.

GfK snags Bridgehead in bid to deepen payer expertise

Responding to what it calls an "acute need" among clients for market access counsel, GfK is buying Bridgehead International, a consultancy with offices here and abroad.

Company news: AstraZeneca and Merck

AstraZeneca launched a home-delivery program for breast cancer drug Arimidex through PBM Express Scripts.

Senators slam Pfizer-PBM deal to blunt generic Lipitor

Senators slam Pfizer-PBM deal to blunt generic Lipitor

Pfizer's Lipitor had not yet gone off patent before a trio of Senate healthcare heavyweights was firing off letters to the drugmaker assailing its efforts to conserve Lipitor share through a deal with pharmaceutical benefit managers.

Pfizer's post-expiry plan for Lipitor: maximize brand's sales

Pfizer said it plans not only to keep Lipitor consumer promotions running past the brand's expiry later this month. It also aims to put an OTC version of the megablockbuster on the market at some point.

Despite HPV vax ad bonanza, low awareness and slacker docs dog uptake

A little over half of US girls ages 13 to 17 have not gotten even one dose of the HPV vaccine, and among the main reasons are poor awareness and the failure of doctors to recommend vaccination, a study shows.

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What does going "beyond the pill" actually mean? At MM&M's recent inaugural spring conference, audience members heard from real-world companies that are managing the organizational, technological, and promotional challenges inherent in this transition, such as partnering with health neophytes, harnessing technologies that allow deeper engagement with patients, and adopting a new commercial mindset to serve, not sell. Download here.


A wave of more effective anti-cancer drugs has set the oncology world on fire with enthusiasm. While many hail this as a new era, an equally vocal faction questions the money spent for the value gained. This medical and commercial trend report for marketers of anti-cancer modalities touches on many of the latest shifts that have expedited product launches and otherwise impacted promotion and reimbursement of these drugs. Click here.