Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 21, 2015

Photo credit: Clay Masters/Creative Commons

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she plans to unveil a proposal this week that aims to control the cost of prescription drugs, according to the Associated Press It's the first time that Clinton has said she will address rising drug prices. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), another Democratic candidate, earlier this month introduced legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

Using an interactive website or app to track health data and motivate healthy behaviors helped hypertensive patients lower their blood pressure, MedPage Today reported. The CEO of the company that developed the website said it's an easy and inexpensive way to collect health data and using elements of online gaming also makes it fun for participants.

Turing Pharmaceuticals reportedly raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a tablet after it acquired the drug in August, The New York Times reported. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association have protested the increase. The drug, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection, is rarely used so the impact on overall healthcare costs from the price rise would be small, the Turing CEO said. “It really doesn't make sense to get any criticism for this,” he said.

Two phase-3 studies showed that bezlotoxumab, an antibody developed by Merck, cuts the risk of recurrence with Clostridium difficile bacterium, Reuters reported. The bacterium can cause fatal diarrhea and is the cause of death of 29,000 people in the US annually. The studies found that patients undergoing 12 weeks of treatment with antibiotics and a one-time infusion of bezlotoxumab cut the risk of C. difficile recurrence by about 15%.

Insulin pens need to be shaken before injecting to resuspend their insoluble mixture of crystals and liquid, a study by an Italian university found. Not doing so can lead to wide variations in insulin levels and blood-sugar control. One of the researchers involved told Reuters that he was surprised by “the high variability of effects on lowering of blood glucose depending as to whether the NPH pen is properly resuspended or not.”

close

Next Article in Payers/Managed Markets