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Competitive Promotion Report releases briefing on taking on big data

BY Alaric DeArment

MARIETTA, Ga. — Competitive Promotion Report is hoping to help consumer packaged goods manufacturers parse large and complex data sets in a new report.

CPR announced Wednesday the release of a business brief, "How Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers Can Unlock Big Data," explaining the types of data available to the CPG industry and a description of the company’s advanced analytics system, Integrated Data Management. CPG manufacturers in the health, beauty and wellness industry often receive data from a variety of sources. The brief is available on CPR’s website.

"Although managing big data is daunting, manufacturers have to address it sooner rather than later," CPR president and CEO Glen Davis said. "We have a proven process and approach to gathering disparate data and turning it into market intelligence so companies can make better-informed decisions."

The brief also provides information on how CPR Consulting Group can provide manufacturers with analytics or support in-house analysts. Organizations lacking the resources to contend with disparate data sources can minimize start-up costs and save time by partnering with the company, it said, touting its knowledge of the health, beauty and wellness industry.


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Closer collaboration between payers, physicians could reduce cancer care costs, studies find

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN, Ohio — Healthcare company Cardinal Health has released a series of studies showing ways that it says could reduce the cost of treating cancer.

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield started the studies in 2008, in which physicians in the CareFirst network collaborated to develop evidence-based treatment regimens — also known as clinical pathways — for breast, lung and colon cancers that maintained care quality, reduced costs and ensured fair compensation for doctors. According to Cardinal, cancer care costs could reach $170 billion by 2020.

According to the study, presented this month at the 49th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, collaboration between payers and physicians was a significant factor behind the success of the program, which reduced CareFirst’s overall costs by 15%, primarily through a 7% decline in emergency room visits, shorter lengths of hospital stays, increased use of generic drugs and more appropriate use of chemotherapy. While spending on drugs was reduced overall, reimbursements to physicians for drugs increased, as did reimbursement overall.

"These positive results prove that when implemented collaboratively with physician input and buy-in, our clinical pathways can create a new paradigm for the delivery of cancer care — one in which all stakeholders can win," Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions VP and chief medical officer Bruce Feinberg said.

 

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Effort to create special domain for online pharmacies makes progress

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — An effort to allow trusted online pharmacies to add ".pharmacy" to their URLs cleared a hurdle last week as it passed an initial evaluation by the body that regulates the web address suffixes, known as generic top-level domains.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy said passing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ initial evaluation was a "key success" and "critical milestone" in creating a way for legitimate online pharmacies to stand out from the large number of illegal ones that have proliferated over the years.

"Passing this hurdle in the .pharmacy application process is a significant success in NABP’s initiative to establish a safe online space that will benefit patients and the healthcare community around the world," NABP president Karen Ryle said. "With the online distribution of counterfeit and substandard medications posing a growing threat to consumers, NABP is extremely pleased to move forward with its plans for the .pharmacy [generic top-level domain.]"

Rogue internet pharmacies have become a growing problem as many patients in the United States, seeking a bargain on prescription drugs, order their medications from them. The pharmacies are known to go to great lengths to disguise themselves as Canadian or American, but are often operated from countries with lax regulations, creating the risk that their drugs may be counterfeit, adulterated, expired or contaminated. A January review by the NABP of 10,275 online pharmacies found that 97% of them were out of compliance with U.S. laws. Of the 9,938 identified as "non-recommended," nearly half offered drugs to U.S. residents that were foreign or not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.
The NABP said the next step will include execution of the registry agreement with ICANN and performance of pre-delegation testing to ensure that the pharmacy group and its partners can operate the .pharmacy domain in a stable and secure manner. The NABP plans to launch the domain by the end of this year.

 

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