PHARMACY

Report outlines challenges in pharma industry through 2020

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Spurred by health reform and other factors, a "golden era" could be approaching for drug companies as they reinvent themselves, according to a new report by PwC.

The report, "Pharma 2020: From Vision to Decision," said that the industry was on the verge of an era of renewed productivity and prosperity, but its success was not guaranteed.

"A healthy, vibrant and responsive pharma industry is vital to society for the development of new medicines," PwC global pharmaceutical and life sciences advisory leader and report author Steve Arlington said. "More needs to be done to support and encourage long-term investment in the discovery and development of medicines to treat serious disease. We need to all work together to improve the well-being of populations."

The report said that health reform is accelerating the need for big changes in the drug industry and its response to rising demand for medicines, major scientific and technological advances, economic pressures and sociodemographic shifts — in both developed and growing markets around the world. It found that while the industry could experience "unprecedented" global growth in the future, its prevailing business model and management culture were ill-suited to capitalize on the opportunities over the next decade. Drug companies that make it through the next few years can prosper if they can prune their pipelines, address rising consumer expectations and poor scientific productivity and cultural barriers, the report said.

Among the challenges the industry faces is rising healthcare costs. Demand for medicines could result in global drug sales increasing by 40% to $1.6 trillion by 2020; but with economic difficulties and rising costs, the industry has to be in a position to be a part of the solution, the report said, and it’s faced with a choice: Offer more value without charging more or justify premium pricing by proving it can remove costs from another part of the healthcare system.

The report also suggested tailoring pipelines to meet demands in the market and also increase collaboration, noting that the culture in the pharmaceutical industry has changed little over the past few decades.


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Lupin CEO wins Ernst & Young award

BY Alaric DeArment

BALTIMORE — The head of Lupin Pharmaceuticals has received an award from accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young announced Thursday that it had named Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta the inaugural Ernst & Young U.S. 2012 Family Business Award of Excellence winner at its 2012 Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif.

"Gupta’s father, Desh Bandhu Gupta, founded India’s Lupin in 1968, and as a teenager, she accompanied him on business trips around the world, giving her a taste of global diplomacy and negotiation strategy," Ernst & Young Americas director for Entrepreneur of the Year Bryan Pearce said. "Through these early valuable experiences with her father, and her continued education in business, education and pharmaceuticals, Vinita has come to be a great leader who will continue to take Lupin Pharmaceuticals to new heights."


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NACDS emphasizes importance of Rx compounding amid congressional hearings on meningitis outbreak

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives examined the meningitis outbreak this week, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores distinguished between the types of pharmacy compounding and the settings in which they take place, and emphasized the critical, life-saving benefits of pharmacy compounding.

NACDS stated that it has sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce — both of which held hearings on the outbreak on Nov. 14.

“The type of compounding tied to the recent meningitis outbreak — sterile compounding — is a much smaller subset of compounding, and sterile compounding must be performed in very controlled settings. Sterile compounding is not the kind of compounding that is typically available to a patient who walks into a chain pharmacy to fill a prescription,” NACDS stated in its letter.

NACDS also highlighted the importance of pharmacy compounding stating, “Compounding services are the only source of critical medications for millions of patients with unique health needs. For these patients, there are no commercially manufactured preparations available. Through compounding, pursuant to a prescription, pharmacies provide these patients with personalized medications.”

In the letter, NACDS also discussed that prescription compounding has been a traditional function of the practice of pharmacy since the beginning of the profession.

Community pharmacy also is committed as a partner in public health, healthcare delivery for patients and patient safety, NACDS stated. In the letter, NACDS highlighted community pharmacy’s efforts during the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak. Because of their extensive education and training, community pharmacists helped to meet the need for Tamiflu through their ability to compound liquid Tamiflu from capsules — and at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Pharmacists are trained to prepare compounded medications and are tested on this competency. State boards of pharmacy license pharmacies after ensuring, among other things, that they have the proper tools and equipment to compound prescription products. State boards of pharmacy regularly inspect pharmacies, including their compounding practices,” the letter stated.

NACDS also stressed its support for collaboration by FDA and state boards of pharmacy working together to identify sites that violate FDA’s compounding guidelines.

“We further support FDA and the state boards of pharmacy working together to investigate any questionable practices so that compounding is regulated appropriately and in the best interest of patients,” NACDS stated in the letter.
 

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