Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, July 27, 2018

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AstraZeneca joined other pharma companies in freezing price hikes this year. The company said it will not raise prices in the U.S. for the rest of 2018, echoing statements from Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, and Merck. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said prices had only risen 1% to 3% in the first half of the year. (Reuters)

Roche's first-half revenue was boosted by sales of its newer medicines. The biggest earner was Roche's multiple sclerosis drug, Ocrevus, which brought in more than $1 billion in sales. Roche has been competing with biosimilars that have put a dent in its revenue, but the company projected mid-single-digit growth in sales this year. (BioPharma Dive)

Hospitals switching to electronic health records may see lower death rates, a study found. Researchers studied smaller, non-teaching hospitals over five years and saw a slight decline in death rates after the hospitals adopted EHRs. The researchers suggested that when choosing a hospital, patients should look at the digital capabilities of its system to get better care. (Reuters)

Bayer paid doctors $2.5 million related to Essure, a CNN investigation found. Over four years, the pharma giant paid more than 11,000 doctors for “consulting fees and similar services” related to Essure, raising the question of why doctors were prescribing the permanent birth control. Bayer will stop selling the controversial implant by the end of this year. (CNN)

The FDA will no longer grant orphan drug status for pediatric subpopulations of common diseases. The guidance is meant to close a loophole that allowed trials for orphan drugs in adults to be exempted from also conducting pediatric studies. (Endpoints News)
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