Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, October 12, 2016



1. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is yet again under fire for price hikes of critical medicines it sells. This time, Valeant faces criticism for the dramatic price hike of a drug used to treat lead poisoning, Calcium EDTA, after it raised the price by more than 2,700% in a single year. Valeant acquired the drug in 2013 in its acquisition of Medicis. (STAT)

2. Novartis has enlisted singer and actress Queen Latifah to help raise awareness of heart disease. Latifah lead a panel, called “Rise Above Heart Failure,” on Facebook Live for World Heart Day. Novartis markets Entresto, a heart-failure treatment approved in 2015. (FiercePharma)

3. Drs. Peter Ubel and Peter Bach wrote an op-ed in the Annals of Internal Medicine arguing that co-pay card programs are part of the U.S. prescription drug “price problem.” The contributors wrote that copay assistance programs “undermine benefit designs that allow for low-cost insurance plans” and “keep patients from acting as consumers.” (Annals of Internal Medicine)

4. Some healthcare providers have begun “de-prescribing” medications to patients to reduce what they see as an excessive use of prescription drugs among adults in the U.S. As part of this approach, doctors review patients' medications using screening programs to identify possible side effects and interactions. (WSJ)

5. ICYMI: Mylan agreed to a $465 million settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve an investigation into the classification of its emergency anaphylaxis treatment, EpiPen, as a generic drug in Medicaid prescription drug programs. The rebate rate for generics drugs is 13%, while for brand-name drugs it is 23%. (CNBC)