PHARMACY

Decision Resources projects proprietary clinical gold standard status for Byetta

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. A once-weekly treatment for Type 2 diabetes will likely become a popular treatment for the disease in the next few years, according to a new report by Decision Resources.

The market research firm released the report Tuesday, saying that Byetta LAR (exenatide) – made by Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin and Alkermes – had earned its proprietary clinical gold standard status in 2013 as a treatment for the disease following a 2010 approval. According to the report, Byetta LAR has advantages over current and emerging therapies in terms of efficacy and delivery and would likely earn a 40% patient share, according to surveyed U.S. endocrinologists, while European endocrinologists said it would earn a 20% share. Decision Resources analyst Christine Helliwell attributed the lower share in Europe to stricter reimbursement requirements there and more conservative uptake of novel drugs.

“Byetta LAR improves on our current gold standard, Amylin [and] Eli Lilly’s Byetta, by offering superior glucose-lowering and weight-loss efficacy with a more convenient dosing schedule – once-weekly versus twice-weekly injections,” Helliwell said. “According to surveyed endocrinologists, Byetta LAR is expected to gain the greatest share among emerging Type 2 diabetes therapies. Byetta LAR will primarily take patients share away from Byetta; we expect metformin to continue being the patient share leader in the future.”

Byetta and Byetta LAR belong to a class of drugs known as glucagons-like peptide, or GLP-1, analogues, a class that also includes the recently approved Victoza (liraglutide), made by Novo Nordisk.

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PHARMACY

Report; N.Y. seeks to prohibit doctors from accepting gifts from drug companies

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. New York Gov. David Paterson hopes to put an end to gifts from drug companies to doctors, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Paterson proposed legislation that would prohibit drug makers from giving doctors such gifts as pens and free meals to persuade them to prescribe their drugs. Drug companies that violated the ban would be fined between $15,000 and $250,000, while healthcare professionals would be fined $5,000 to $10,000. Nine states so far have laws on the books that prohibit the practice.

According to the AP article, patient-advocacy organizations such as AARP are supporting the legislation, while the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents the branded drug industry, opposes it.

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Acorda appoints EVP commercial development

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. The founder of a consulting firm has joined the executive board of Acorda Therapeutics, the drug maker announced Monday.

Lauren Sabella will work as Acorda’s EVP commercial development, reporting to president and CEO Ron Cohen and assuming responsibility for Acorda’s commercial operations such as marketing, sales and managed markets.

Before working for Acorda, Sabella was founder and principal of Tugboat Consulting Group, which assisted companies in commercialization. She also worked as VP commercial development for Altus Pharmaceuticals and served in various positions at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaeuticals for 18 years.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lauren Sabella to Acorda’s management team,” Cohen said. “Lauren has an impressive record of achievement in the pharmaceutical industry, including responsibility for launching and managing several high-performing products.”

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