PHARMACY

Use of generics would save money, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A new study indicates that the public bears "unnecessary expense" when generic drugs aren’t used.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that prescribing branded drugs when generics are available "generates unnecessary medical expenditures, the costs of which are borne by the public in the form of higher copayments, increased health insurance costs, and higher Medicare and Medicaid expenses," the authors, led by Harvard Medical School professor Eric Campbell, wrote.

"The JAMA Internal Medicine study demonstrates that we are still leaving savings on the table that could be achieved by increasing the use of generic drugs," said Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, an industry lobbying group. "The use of safe and effective generic versions of brandname drugs currently saves consumers and the U.S. healthcare system $1 billion every other day, a total of $192 billion in 2011. But, as significant as these savings are, there still is room for improvement, and we must realize that generics are part of the solution to sustaining affordable healthcare in America."


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S.HAWKINS says:
Oct-17-2013 08:47 am

You and me both... it was a very interesting study by the way. Poor people shouldn't suffer like that when it comes to health.

jhonson101 says:
Feb-11-2013 10:53 pm

I actually agree with this study. Some of the Doctors prescribed those expensive medicine where in there are generics available. how about those poor people who has limited money, how can they afford such expensive medicine. I hope Doctor's could be able to find solution for this, try to considers those poor family.

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PHARMACY

Abbott spins off new drug company

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Abbott Labs has spun off its specialty drug division into a new company called AbbVie, which the new company’s leaders heralded Wednesday by ringing the first opening bell of 2013 at the New York Stock Exchange.

AbbVie’s product portfolio includes drugs like the autoimmune drug Humira (adalimumab), the testosterone-replacement drug AndroGel, the prostate cancer drug Lupron (leuprolide acetate), the lung infection drug Synagis (palivizumab) and others. The company’s pipeline includes more than 20 mid- to late-stage clinical programs in areas like hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, spondyloarthropathies, multiple myeloma and endometriosis.

"Today, AbbVie launches with an outstanding portfolio, a solid pipeline and enthusiastic people who will serve patients and deliver growth," AbbVie CEO and chairman Richard Gonzalez said. "With those assets and a relentless focus on innovation, we intend to create significant value for our shareholders."

The company, headquartered in North Chicago, Ill., will include 21,000 employees around the world — including Gonzalez, EVP business development, external affairs and general counsel Laura Schumacher, and EVP and CFO William Chase.


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PHARMACY

Biotech regulatory environment has improved, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO — Biotech companies saw a decline in project delays due to regulations over the past year, as more than half have said insurance coverage and reimbursement issues have become more difficult, according to a new report.

The 2013 California Biomedical Industry Report — by PwC, the California Healthcare Institute and BayBio — looked at California’s biotech industry and how it faired in 2012.

"California continues to deliver life-saving treatments and new technologies that offer hope for patients in need," CHI president and CEO David Gollaher said. "Last year alone, we saw the approval of novel medicines to treat rare forms of cancer, anemia associated with chronic kidney disease and cystic fibrosis, among others."

The report found that California-based companies developed nine of the 32 new drugs that the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2012, while the industry is at the top in the number of jobs, new treatments for patients, venture capital investments and federal funding from the National Institutes of Health.

"As the center of biomedical innovation in the U.S., California’s biomedical industry is a national treasury," BayBio president and CEO Gail Maderis said. "But the pace of R&D productivity and its global leadership position hang on the availability of capital to fund future innovation and a regulatory framework that is based on consistency and innovative technologies."

The report includes a survey of 175 biomedical company CEOs, nearly 14% of whom said that the FDA regulatory process had improved over the prior year, while the number who reported project delays due to regulation declined by 17%, to 16% in 2012. At the same time, 59% cited limited or lack of access to capital as the most threatening issue, while nearly 90% said they considered the industry’s relationship with the FDA "extremely important," but 57% said regulatory processes hadn’t kept pace with advances in science and technology, posing a risk to innovation.


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