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U.S. to contribute to ‘rapid’ biosimilar market growth through 2023, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — The global market for biosimilars will be worth nearly $2.5 billion this year, according to a new study.

The study, by British market research firm Visiongain, forecast that the $2.445 billion market size marked more than 20% of growth from 2012 and would account for about 2% of the overall market for biologics. The market is expected to grow rapidly through 2023 as biosimilars hit the market in the United States and European Union.

The fastest growth will be in biosimilar monoclonal antibodies and insulins, and two products submitted for regulatory approval in the European Union last year by Hospira and Celltrion are expected to launch there next year, according to the report. Meanwhile, the launch of biosimilar erythropoietin and filgrastim products in the United States will drive growth starting next year.

"Many companies are interested in entering the biosimilars market. These drugs offer a simpler way to launch biopharmaceuticals, compared with developing novel biologics," Visiongain pharmaceutical market analyst Richard Lang said. "Big pharma companies, such as Pfizer, Merck & Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim, have invested in this area in recent years. Many of these companies are focusing on biosimilar monoclonal antibody development – those three companies have clinical-stage candidates in that sector."

While the European Union has had a regulatory process for biosimilars for some time, the United States did not have one until the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which enabled the Food and Drug Administration to approve biosimilars along an abbreviated regulatory pathway similar to, but more complicated than, the one for generic pharmaceutical drugs. The FDA still has to draft specific regulations before it can begin approving the products, which has prompted some companies to seek approval for biosimilars using the same process as the one for branded biologics. The agency did approve Omnitrope (somatropin), a biosimilar growth hormone made by Sandoz, in 2004 under a special application; Omnitrope is biosimilar to Pfizer’s Genotropin. Emerging markets have been leaders in biosimilars, particularly China and India, while the United States, European Union and Japan accounted for 20% of the market last year.

 

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Walgreens adds new in-store home movie transfer service to photo portfolio through iMemories

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — iMemories and Walgreens on Tuesday announced the availability of iMemories in Walgreens locations nationwide.

“iMemories’ relationship with Walgreens puts home movie transfer services within arm’s reach of every household in America,” stated Mark Rukavina, CEO iMemories. “We’re passionate about giving people a highly convenient way to preserve and enjoy their precious family memories – whether they were captured in 1957 using Super 8 movie film, or in 1985 using a VHS videotape,” he said. “With our home movie transfer service now available at every Walgreens, there’s no reason any family memories should get left behind.”

The agreement between iMemories and Walgreens creates one of the largest single networks of retail locations in the country offering comprehensive home movie transfer services. In addition, iMemories’ cloud-based platform will enable customers to store, view and share their home movies in their entire duration and full resolution from virtually any device screen.

Customers can bring their aging videotapes and movie film reels to their local Walgreens, to be transferred from their original analog formats into digital video. One of the unique aspects of the Walgreens service is that iMemories enables customers to preview, edit and further customize the contents of their original home movies online before they are transferred to the customer’s choice of new media, such as DVDs or Blu-rays. Additionally, customers can view and share their vintage home movies on the go with their iPhone, iPad or Android device via iMemories mobile apps.

“Of the 114 million American households, many people have a large number of home movies still in aging, original formats. The ability to view precious family memories from a mobile device, tablet, computer or TV is incredible,” said Jasbir Patel, Walgreens senior director and general merchandise manager of photo and e-commerce. “Our DVD Transfer service fully leverages today’s multi-screen world and is an unparalleled solution to help preserve captured video.”

 

 

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Beyond Google: Pharmacists and women’s health

BY Jim Frederick

In case you were wondering, Google won’t replace the community pharmacist as a trusted source for women’s health information, after all.

That, at least, will be one of the conclusions you’ll reach if you watch “Insights into Women’s Health,” a two-part series from DSNTV — Drug Store News’ online video offering — that aired in April (part 1) and early May (part 2). The program, sponsored by Insight Pharmaceuticals and ably hosted by DSN senior editor Antoinette Alexander, consisted of multiple on-the-spot interviews with women on the streets of Manhattan.

Alexander’s goal: To get a better sense of where women get their health information, particularly about women’s health issues, and what role pharmacy retailers can play to provide that information.

The women interviewed had plenty to say on the subject. It was clear they were passionate about the topic of health, well informed, and always on the lookout for trustworthy sources of information about women’s health issues. It was also clear that while the Internet is a huge source of information on health — Google searches are a common tool, and many of the respondents mentioned specific websites like the Mayo Clinic and WebMD as trusted sources of information — they’re no substitute for face-to-face counseling from a real, live pharmacist, preferably delivered in a semi-private setting within the pharmacy area.

That goes double for women’s issues. One woman said it would be helpful if, “at a drug store…there was someone there who knew more about that area,” and could speak about sensitive women’s health issues out of earshot of other customers. Another added that “the interactive kiosks or brochures” at a retail pharmacy “might not have the information you want, so just having a staff person on hand would be great.”

One woman told DSN she’d switch to another pharmacy “if I felt they were really informed and helpful and cared about their customers.

“Customer service is big, especially here in New York where we kind of get brushed off a lot,” continued that respondent. “Our health is so important that we want somebody who does care a little bit about what they’re doing.”

One woman praised CVS for providing written information on the shelves about proper care, diet and exercise related to diabetes. “And if the pharmacists…are more informed about things, that helps,” she added.

I always knew women were generally smarter than us guys about a lot of things. This video series also shows they’re far more engaged than most men about their health, and ready to shift their loyalty to pharmacies that are engaged and informed about women’s health concerns.

If you’re a practicing pharmacist or pharmacy intern, please share your thoughts. Is your own practice site or employer doing everything it can to engage women and give them more than they can get online?

 

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