Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1. The British healthcare cost agency doesn't plan to cover Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo because the immuno-oncology drug is too expensive as a treatment for lung cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued the draft guidance today. (Reuters

2. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, often referred to as Calpers, reported that specialty drug costs rose 32% to $438 million in 2014. Specialty drugs made up less than 1% of all prescriptions covered by Calpers, one of the nation's largest purchasers of medical care. (LAT)

3. A study found that the National Institutes of Health is funding fewer clinical trials. At the same time the number of industry-funded trials has nearly doubled. This may mean fewer trials examining comparative interventions. (MedPage Today)

4. User data was leaked from two health apps, one a dating app for HIV-positive people and the other a fitness app. A blog called had first reported the leaks, which raise concerns about the disclosure of sensitive health information and further questions about how many health apps are not required to comply with patient privacy laws. (Buzzfeed)

5. Novartis hired James Bradner, a Harvard cancer researcher, to fill the gaps in its immuno-oncology product pipeline. One analyst said Novartis “completely missed the boat” by not developing immuno-oncology drugs, like Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo. (Reuters)


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