Posted 11/08/11 on Gooz News
The deficit reduction “super committee” charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget reductions over the next decade shouldn’t let this one pass. The Congressional Budget Office today estimated that ending drug industry “pay for delay” deals with generic manufacturers will save the federal government over $5 billion over the next decade.
The “Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act,” sponsored Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., with eight co-sponsors, including two Republicans, requires that any deal between two companies that delays production of a generic drug after a patent has expired must show that the deal is “pro competitive,” which would effectively ban the practice. The Federal Trade Commission issued a report a year ago that found 66 of these deals reached over the past half decade were costing consumers about $3.5 billion a year.
Continue reading “Ending Pay-For-Delay Deals Could Raise over $5 Billion”
First published 4/25/11 on the American Family Physician Community Blog
For many years, it has been a common practice for pharmaceutical companies to use individual physicians’ prescribing profiles to tailor their marketing and sales strategies. For example, if a drug rep had access to data showing that a particular family doctor was prescribing more of a competitor’s anti-hypertensive drug, he or she might make a point of dropping off a batch of samples to change that doctor’s prescribing practices. As explained in a previous AFP Journal Club, this strategy is often very effective for the drug company, but ends up increasing patients’ out-of-pocket expenses in the long run.
Continue reading “Should Pharma have Unrestricted Access to Doctors’ Prescribing Profiles?”
First published 3/7/11 on Gooz News
Two stories in the New York Times over the weekend told readers nothing new about the drug industry. The first, on Sunday, revisited the two-decade-old, reimbursement-driven trend among psychiatrists to prescribe drugs instead of engaging in talk therapy. The second, this morning, reminds readers that expiring patents on blockbuster drugs like Pfizer’s Lipitor will cost the industry about $50 billion or around 16 percent of its revenue next year. There goes research and development, the story suggests.
Continue reading “Same Old Stories for the Drug Industry”
Originally published 1/17/11 on Health Populi.
The U.S. has few bright spots when accounting for global trade: we import much more than we export. Entertainment is America’s #1 export. After that, medical innovation shines.
Continue reading “Health Innovation In The US Is Ours To Lose”
A Special Weekend Article!
Why you can’t trust medical journals anymore.
Brian’s Note: This article was published nearly 7 years ago, in 2004, in the Washington Journal. While transparency and disclosure rules have arguably improved since then, the larger problems associated with financial conflict still pervade all medicine and health care. A spate of recent stories has detailed device manufacturers paying off surgeons. Community oncologists and adolescent psychiatrists are still permitted to profit on the drugs they prescribe. And on and on.
So Ms. Brownlee’s article remains relevant, shocking and very engaging. Enjoy.
With financial ties to nearly two dozen drug and biotech companies, Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff may hold some sort of record among academic clinicians for the most conflicts of interest. A psychiatrist, a prominent researcher, and chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at Emory University in Atlanta, Nemeroff receives funding for his academic research from Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Wyeth-Ayerst–indeed from virtually every pharmaceutical house that manufactures a drug to treat mental illness. He also serves as a consultant to drug and biotech companies, owns their stocks, and is a member of several speakers’ bureaus, delivering talks–for a fee–to other physicians on behalf of the companies’ products.
Continue reading “Doctors Without Borders”
Originally published here on 12/8/10 on Health Populi.
What happens when a company becomes a proverbial fly on the wall in the physician’s exam room as she’s meeting with patients? Real-life insights into what health consumers ask for, and how they converse with doctors – neither of which match up to a pharma marketer’s dream (or business objective) of motivating consumers to ask their physicians to describe specific brands of drugs.
Continue reading “Listening in on patient-physician conversations – consumers don’t talk so much about branded drugs”