Pharma Survival in a Transforming Global Environment

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

The global pharmaceutical environment is under intense pressure, as a perfect storm of scientific innovation, budget pressures and public concerns over drug pricing is developing. The launch of innovative hepatitis C drugs with strong value propositions and high market needs have posed significant budget pressures for payers worldwide. Unfortunately, the drug industry has been substantially weakened, as the very strong arguments of long-term monetary and humanistic cost savings (cirrhosis, liver transplants and hepatic cancer) have not been sufficiently communicated, thus allowing the discussions to focus on short-term cost only.


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Can Pharma Ignore Turing’s Price Hikes?

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Turing Pharmaceuticals caused uproar in political and medical communities with its price increase from $13.50 to $750 per pill in August for Daraprim, a toxoplasmosis treatment that was developed in 1953. It has added fuel to the already hot debate over prescription drug pricing. Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli called the move a “smart business decision”, hardly a formulation that eases criticism in an environment where healthcare funding decisions are increasingly emotional and tough. “Price gouging” and “unscrupulous” are some of the terms used in reactions that have been dominating the news over the last few days.


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Drug Price Controls: “Red Meat for the Left” or Russian Roulette?

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, Sep 21, 2015

Kaiser’s August healthcare poll results should put all on high alert given public sentiment and the rhetoric of the political season.  Ed Schoonveld sounds the alarm and offers four initiatives to stall the surge towards government intercession on escalating prices.

The news extensively covers criticism over prescription drug pricing. In fact, a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll  characterized very negative public views of the industry and strong support for government intervention in drug pricing. This should ring alarm bells in the C-suites of pharmaceutical companies.


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The Market Access Timing Dilemma

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, Aug 17, 2015

Last week, Chief Executive Paula Chadwick of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in the United Kingdom labeled delay in NHS patients' access to cancer drugs a “disgrace” in an interview in The Guardian. The foundation was complaining that patients will not have access to immunotherapy drug Opdivo (nivolumab, BMS) until May 2016, after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has its cost-effectiveness review. Ironically, now that the drug is approved by the European Medicines Agency, availability under the Early Access to Medicines Scheme will stop. This is causing an extensive gap in availability of a drug treatment that is seen as a paradigm shift in the treatment of lung cancer. In the same article, Chadwick states: “The pharmaceutical companies want their price and the NHS has its processes, but it’s the patients here who get caught in the crossfire.” Is seems indeed reasonable to ask both parties to come to a better solution for patients.


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Oncology Drug Pricing After ASCO Value Framework and DrugAbacus

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Jul 21, 2015

The U.S. medical community has been increasingly vocal over the high cost of oncology drugs and its impact on the ability to treat patients. Oncologists coined the term “financial toxicity” to indicate the need to consider patient cost as a component in treatment decision making.


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