Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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Medicare Part D spending on brand-name drugs continues to climb even as the number of prescriptions fall, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, a government watchdog. From 2011 to 2015, the number of overall prescriptions for brand-name drugs decreased by 17% under the program, but beneficiaries' annual costs for brand-name drugs rose by 40%. (CBS News)

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he wants to accelerate the approval process for competitors of first-to-market drugs. “So we're doing it on the generic side, but we're also thinking of doing it on the new drug side,” Gottlieb said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. (Reuters)

Bluebird's CAR-T multiple myeloma treatment delayed the cancer's progression for a median of nearly a year. The drug belongs to a category of treatments that fight cancer by harnessing the body's immune system to target specific proteins on cancer cells. (Reuters)

The FDA has approved Fulphila, the first biosimilar to Neulasta, which decreases the risk of infection in patients with certain types of cancers who are receiving chemotherapy. Approving more biosimilars is a “top priority for the FDA,” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “This summer, we'll release a comprehensive new plan to advance new policy efforts that promote biosimilar product development.” (

The FDA has quashed Eli Lilly and Incyte's hopes of generating blockbuster sales for Olumiant, their rheumatoid arthritis drug. The agency approved the drug, but only for a sliver of patients. In addition, it will carry a black box warning. (Endpoints)
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