PharmExec Blog

AMCP Talk Pricing of Specialty Pharma Spurred by Sovaldi

Starting off this week’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) meeting in Boston, experts including patient access advocates, pharma and payer representatives came together for this year’s symposium entitled “Specialty Pharmacy and Patient Care: Are We at a Tipping Point?” Read More »

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The Place of Digital in the Pharma Marketing Mix

By Mark Perlotto.

Thirty-nine years ago this past June, an article appeared in BusinessWeek that offered readers what was for its time a startling degree of foresight. Four paragraphs down, just above their first historic mention of what they called “the paperless office,” the authors of “The Office of the Future” passed along a prediction by George Pake, head of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center:

“Pake says that in 1995 his office will be completely different; there will be a TV-display terminal with keyboard sitting on his desk. ‘I’ll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button,’ he says. ‘I can get my mail or any messages. I don’t know how much hard copy [printed paper] I’ll want in this world.’”

Coming in a time when the typewriter was still de rigueur in any modern office, the first part of Pake’s prediction was far-seeing—and quite correct. The integration of computers into office environments may seem like a self-evident development with hindsight—but I don’t recall anyone predicting the future ubiquity of smartphones or social media 20 years ago. So the first part of Pake’s prediction should be considered one of the more impressive in the history of business prophecy. Read More »

Posted in Guest Blog, Marketing, multimedia, social media, Strategy, Technology | Tagged | 1 Comment

Customer Engagement Isn’t Just About Physicians: It’s About Sales Reps Too

By Karl Tiedemann.

Managing the pharma sales force has always been challenging. Reps are spread out geographically, often far from corporate offices, preventing them from taking part in the on-site activities and face-to-face interactions that typically foster a connection to the company. In order to help the sales force achieve their primary goal — educating physicians — they require frequent training and constantly updated information on products, industry news and regulatory changes. Satisfying the information needs of this far-flung group is a challenge that is only exacerbated by reps’ daily schedule — they are on the road all day, then inundated with information and catch-up work when they login to their computer that evening. Read More »

Posted in Guest Blog, Sales, Strategy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Healthcare Nonprofit Bans Genentech Reps

By Randi Hernandez, Pharmaceutical Technology.

After a change in distribution strategy at Genentech, Ascension Health has prohibited sales representatives from the drug maker to solicit physicians at Ascension’s 1900 sites of care around the country. The ban is the result of a supply-chain move that routes three infused cancer medications—Avastin (bevacizumab), Rituxan (rituximab), and Herceptin (trastuzumab)—out of the regular distribution channels and into the specialty pharmacy channel. Read More »

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Jagged Little Pill: Drugs Through a Microneedle

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a novel drug capsule coated with tiny needles to deliver large-molecule biopharmaceuticals. This drug-delivery method would effectively prevent the breakdown of biologics in the stomach and inject the drug payload directly into the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

“This could be a way that the patient can circumvent the need to have an infusion or subcutaneous administration of a drug,” said Giovanni Traverso, a research fellow at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and one of the lead authors of the paper, in the press release.

The researchers said when the pill reaches the digestive tract, the pH-sensitive coating surrounding the capsule (and the needles) dissolves, allowing the drug reservoir to be released directly into the lining of the stomach. The drugs would expel out of the needles via the help of the peristaltic action of the GI tract.

To test their microneedle pill, the scientists used insulin as the drug payload in pigs. There was no evidence of tissue damage in the pigs, and their blood glucose level dropped much more quickly than it would have with subcutaneous injection, according to the scientists. The pill was found to be safe and well tolerated, the researchers asserted.

“The kinetics are much better, and much faster-onset, than those seen with traditional under-the-skin administration,” noted Traverso. “For molecules that are particularly difficult to absorb, this would be a way of actually administering them at much higher efficiency.”


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