Teva launches ‘Patient First’ project
NEW YORK Most consumers may not know a lot about biosimilar equivalence, immunogenicity or what “monoclonal antibody” means, but they know that battling a chronic disease can be a frightening and financially devastating prospect. Teva’s new TV campaign is a very sobering reminder of what many already know at a time when all of America is focused on fixing health care.
On one end of the continuum of prescription drug prices lies generic drugs purchased under one of the growing number of generic discount programs offered by retailers for less than $50 a year. On the other end lies biotech drugs that can cost nearly half a million dollars a year.
This is a reminder to politicians and voters that for many patients, manageable diseases carry unmanageable costs. This especially is true for such diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Rob Day, one of the patients profiled in the “Patient First” campaign — itself a part of the broader Year of Affordable Healthcare campaign — was diagnosed with PNH at age 19 and must pay $389,000 a year for biotech drugs to treat it.
While $389,000 is an extreme example, most biotech drugs remain incredibly expensive: A year’s supply of Genentech’s breast cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) costs about $40,000, while a single vial of Elan Corp.’s multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (natalizumab) costs more than $2,000. Setting up a regulatory environment that allows expensive biotech drugs to face competition from biosimilars would help to alleviate the fears and financial strain of some patients living with chronic illnesses.
Study finds eating disorder sufferers abuse diet pills, other OTC products
PHOENIX Between 11 million and 13 million people in the United States have eating disorders, and many of them abuse or become dependent upon over-the-counter substances, the Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders announced Wednesday.
“It may surprise many people, including some healthcare providers, that over-the-counter products and supplements for dieting purposes are frequently abused by those with eating disorders,” stated Kevin Wandler, spokesman for Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders. “A full 64% of eating disorder patients abuse diet pills. The health consequences of diet pill abuse are enormous and include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, thickening of the heart muscle and kidney damage.”
Other substances abused by individuals with eating disorders include laxatives and diuretics. Although laxatives and diuretics are not often considered drugs of abuse or dependence, individuals can become dependent on them. A recent study found that in a sample of 200 bulimics, 31% used diuretics.
“It can take the body months to recover from laxative and other over-the-counter substance abuse,” Wandler said.
BioNeutral Group presents lab results for antimicrobial used on swine flu
NEWARK, N.J. BioNeutral Group on Thursday announced that independent lab test results conducted at Microbiotest of Sterling, Va., demonstrated that its Ygiene Consumer Grade Antimicrobial totally eradicated the novel H1N1 virus within 20 seconds of contact.
“We are well on our way to achieving our objective to have the fastest-acting, least-expensive, longest-lasting, simple-to-use, green formulations to eliminate swine flu from home, office, schools and public gathering places,” stated Andy Kielbania, chief scientist for Bioneutral Group. “This mild formulation can come into daily contact with skin and clothing, providing added protection against H1N1 and other dangerous organisms for the general population and the broader healthcare sector, as well.”
Ygiene is one of a few antimicrobials actually tested against the specific H1N1 virus, the company stated.
The formulation will be presented to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for regulatory approval, the company stated.