Pharmaceuticals

Senator wants mental health med investigation

October 26, 2010

At present, both Medicare and Medicaid pay for very high volumes of psychiatric drugs for their beneficiaries. But is this a form of abuse, or just a response to the realities of the patients who have these benefits? Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), whose career has focused healthcare system regulation for some time, would like federal […]

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In the social media era, pharma detailing should go online

October 25, 2010
pharmaceutical detailing

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Vartabedian, who writes an intriguing blog called 33 Charts, posted an interesting item this week about the need for pharmaceutical companies to find a new, sophisticated ways to shift detailing online. Why does pharma need to […]

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Drug rush: Prescription use shoots up over last decade

October 24, 2010

Today, it’s not unusual for even a reasonably healthy 35-year-old to be taking a handful of prescriptions — and for those 60 and over to gulp down 10 or 15 prescription meds per day. While it may seem like things have always been this way, they haven’t. These stats actually represent a major increase from 10  years ago, according […]

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NPR blogger: CVS stores were favorites of meth-cooking “smurfers”

October 18, 2010
smurf

Maybe it’s just old age, but I remember when a smurf was just an obnoxious animated character without any redeeming value whatsoever. Apparently, those days are long gone. Those who run about buying OTC decongestants for use in cooking up methamphetamine are known as “smurfers.” And according to NPR blogger Scott Hensley, until recently they looooved […]

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ExpressScripts develops technology to predict patient med adherence

October 14, 2010
Medication compliance

Express Scripts, a drug benefit management company Express Scripts is using a new tool to help lower healthcare costs: predictive computer models. The company announced that it has successfully tested a set of computer models that sift through patient data to predict whether or not a patient will likely adhere to prescribed drug therapies. According […]

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China to drive growth of global pharma in ’11

October 8, 2010
China

Recently, we reported that China was popular with investors looking to build new hospital empires or engage in M&A. That includes China Healthcare Corp., an ambitious venture backed by Frist money, as in Frist of giant hospital chain HCA. While it’s a bureaucratic  nightmare to get permission to build or operate there — or so we’ve […]

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FDA Avandia rules may driven by politics

September 30, 2010
Pharmaceuticals

If the stats on its clinical risks are so negative, why is diabetes drug Avandia still on the U.S. market? Well, according to blogger John Mack, a pharma industry insider who keeps a close eye on these things, the answer may have more to do with politics than medicine. As things stand, European regulators have […]

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Amgen slip-up dangerous, but dosing errors more so

September 28, 2010
Pharmaceuticals

According to a new report in the Associated Press, giant drugmaker Amgen is recalling some lots of popular drugs Epogen and Procrit anemia treatments.  Why?  Because the lots include doses which could contain glass flakes. Amgen says it hasn’t gotten any complaints about the flakes — which were created by the interaction of the drug […]

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Fight over generic biotech drugs sidesteps giant issue

September 22, 2010
Pills

So, over the last several months members of Congress have been fighting over patent protection for biotechnology drugs. The issue at hand is whether pharmas should get 12 years of protection from generic competition. Right now they have that right, which was given to them in the health reform law. But some members of Congress, […]

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Can pharmas learn to love open innovation?

September 1, 2010
Pharmaceuticals

Right now, pharmaceutical companies are loath to share information with anyone, much less collaborate closely on new inventions. But what if pharmas eased up and began to share ideas freely with research partners? (Not subsidiaries. Not grantees. *Partners* with skin in the game.) While it might be painful, opening up the R&D process could solve […]

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