September 25, 2017

Snake Oil and Social Media

In 2017, advertising and promoting products is a minefield.  The availability of detailed and extensive information on consumer spending habits provides countless ethical pitfalls that are only magnified when the product in question is a drug.  In the past only magazine ads and TV commercials were utilized for drug advertising, now we have an array of choices that don't always feel like marketing, but more like a conversation with a good friend. (more…)
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humor
September 20, 2017

Not So Nobel Awards

Why do old men have big ears? Can smiling at a crocodile affect your desire to gamble?  And most importantly, can cats act as both a liquid and a solid? These are the questions that keep us awake at night.  Fortunately, there are scientists working diligently on these puzzles, as well as many other weird and curious questions.  Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and most recently were celebrated at the 2017 Ig Nobel Awards, a scientific recognition of the strangest and most obscure scientific experiments or studies done in that year. (more…)
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genetic sequencing,, drug development
September 18, 2017

Personalized Medicine: The Future of Genetic Testing?

You're feeling under the weather, with a cough that just won't go away, so you decide to visit your doctor.  After a few minutes of one-on-one time, with some poking and prodding, you may be walking out of the office with a prescription in hand and on the way to feeling better.  How much more personal does it get? Perhaps not surprisingly, it can get a lot more personal, and it has nothing to do with your doctor, and everything to do with science. In our current system of medicine, your treatment plan has very little to do with you specifically; most likely it is the exact same treatment your doctor would give to anyone with the same condition.  Medicine today is based on “standards of care,” the most prudent course of prevention or treatment for the general population.  With medication treatment for depression, for example, those standards may mean treatment with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), followed by a…
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Uncategorised
September 14, 2017

AI Innovation in Pharma

  Artificial intelligence is more than just a concept for the newest blockbuster movie, it is moving into mainstream science and the pharmaceutical industry as well.  The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-pharma Manufacturers Association has recently announced the launch of a team focused on purchasing artificial technology for drug development.  Artificial intelligence computing systems can be used to analyze molecular interactions, and predict drug efficacy and side effects.  The technology can be utilized to guide and optimize clinical trial planning, greatly reducing the timeline for new drug development. (more…)
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Pharma and Politics
August 11, 2017

Exercise Can Prevent Dementia; Why Pharma Companies Should Care

  Alzheimer’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss and impaired cognition, with as many as 5.4 million Americans living with the disease.  Today Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause for those 65 and older.  The symptoms of Alzheimer's slowly creep into our lives and affect loved ones in profound ways.  Throughout the years, research and medications have helped, hindered and or even prevented some of the serious symptoms, but currently, there is no cure. (more…)
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Business
June 5, 2017

Cost versus Quality: Is Manufacturing in India Worth It?

Six months into an administration’s promise to curb drug prices, the cost of drug development remains high.  As companies scramble to reduce costs, they are moving manufacturing overseas, enticed by lucrative savings.  The question remains: are drug companies really saving money or are reduced costs in production aligned with quality, timeline and regulation issues? (more…)
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Business
May 25, 2017

Social Media and Pharma: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Over the past decade, there has been a huge shift in the way that businesses and consumers use social media.  Society is undergoing rapid and dramatic change, fueled by an exponential rate of technological innovation.  This has an enormous impact on the pharmaceutical industry which is in a unique position to reap the benefits of increased sales, revenue and power by augmenting their technological capital.  One of the most effective methods to leverage this change is using social media, which leads us to the question: Can social media be a game changer for pharma? (more…)
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Data Management
May 18, 2017

5 Reasons Why Your Data Management System is Failing You

  Pharmaceutical companies are one of the major beneficiaries of emerging technologies.  From innovative ideas for developing new drugs to customer engagement, drug manufacturers are increasingly resorting to cutting edge digital technology to streamline business and improve efficiency.  Nowhere in pharma is the boom in technology more beneficial than in data management, an area where many drug companies struggle to organize and manage massive quantities of information. As the regulatory landscape increases in complexity, the demand for improved data management and analytics will increase as well.  With all the new challenges that these trends create, digital data management is an innovation that pharma companies should have in their toolbox. Below are the top five reasons that your current data management system is failing your company: (more…)
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Pharma Pricing, Pharma and Politics
May 11, 2017

Can Higher Drug Prices Lower Healthcare Costs?

Of course, if you can get the same medication for less, that is better, but what if switching to a newer more expensive drug actually saved money?  Recently I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the Outsourced Pharma conference in Boston that was focused on cost and price pressures in the pharma industry. Based on the nodding heads in the audience, I think it is fair to say that our industry has an image problem.  While I cannot and will not try to defend some of the more recent high-profile cases that have garnered media attention, there is certainly a case to be made that not all pricing is gouging patients. Last week the Chicago Tribune highlighted a Blue Cross Report that squarely blames pharma companies for high drug prices.  According to the report, member plans spent 73 percent more on prescription drugs in 2016 than in 2010, attributed to "large year-over-year price increases" for new drugs that…
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Data Management
May 9, 2017

Cost vs Price: How Can You Maximize Value?

Recently, in a forum setting, a panel discussion touched upon cost versus price and how best to address the potentially touchy issues of cost versus pricing. With recent consumer outrage over drug pricing and demands for cost controls, this is a hot button issue for both drug companies and the people they serve.   A great deal of attention has been placed on the price of drugs; some have even called price increases gouging, but to paraphrase a panel commentator – ‘Beats’ headphones have margins on their products much hihger than pharma and nobody seems to care about that."  Although this is a true statement, to be fair, nobody's grandma has ever died without their "Beats."  Perhaps there is a way to let grandma have her Beats AND her heart medication.  With that statement in mind let’s explore the top three ways to optimize both cost and pricing:  choosing the right CMO, maximizing communication, reducing errors and celebrating innovation. (more…)
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