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    Do Biopharma Companies Really Spend More on Marketing Than R&D?

    As the drug pricing debate on Capitol Hill continues, the debate over how biopharma companies spend also continues. From 2014 through 2016, various publications—from the Washington Post to Vox to MedCity News —published an eye-opening chart showing that nine of the top 10 large pharmaceutical companies (all but Roche) spent more on marketing than research and development (R&D). The source of the chart is a 2014 BBC article , which relied on GlobalData, to...
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    Judge Blocks Pharma Prices in TV Ads Rule From Taking Effect

    US District Court Judge Amit Mehta late Monday ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lacks the authority to require drugmakers to post list prices in pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertisements. The HHS rule, which was set to take effect on Tuesday and finalized in May , called for television advertisements for prescription drugs with a list price of $35 or more to contain a statement indicating the Wholesale Acquisition ...
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    OPQ Reports on State of Drug Quality in FY2018

    In a report released Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) provides a look at the pharmaceutical quality landscape for drugs and biologics intended for the US market.   The report itself breaks down different metrics related to product quality and manufacturer compliance with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) to paint a picture of the overall pharmaceutical quality landscape.   While FDA reports an overa...
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    FDA to Survey Healthcare Professionals on Prescription Drug Marketing

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced it will go ahead with a survey of healthcare professionals (HCPs) on how they are impacted by prescription drug promotion aimed at a professional audience.   The announcement comes after the agency consulted on its plans for  the survey in March 2018 and follows two earlier surveys that looked at HCPs’ attitudes toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. The survey will also include questions about HCPs’...
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    FDA Touts Quality Office’s Achievements in 2018

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality (OPQ) on Thursday released its 2018 annual report touting its accomplishments in a year that saw record numbers of new and generic drug approvals.   OPQ is the office responsible for quality assessments for investigational new drug applications (INDs) and all marketing applications reviewed by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), including new drug applications (NDAs), abbreviat...
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    IFPMA Seeks Global ban on Gifts and Promotional Aids for Medicines

    As part of a push to align the rest of the world with the US and EU, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) is seeking to establish a global ban on gifts and promotional aids for prescription medicines, wherever its member companies operate. “Any exceptions based on the custom of gifts to mark significant national, cultural or religious events (for example, mooncakes or condolence payments) have also been removed,” the group ...
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    Industry Groups Explain Competition Issues in the US Pharma Market

    Industry groups representing generic and brand-name drugs, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and pharmacies offered their comments on a November meeting held at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on possible solutions to increase competition and lower pharmaceutical prices in the US. The organizations discussed differing views on what can be done, with the generic group noting its own declining prices and possible ways to combat abuses, the brand-name industry point...
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    FDA Finalizes Guidance on Promotional Drug Labeling and Ads

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday finalized guidance from 2013 on prescription drug product name placement, size, prominence and frequency in promotional labeling and advertisements for human prescription drugs. FDA said it received one comment on the revised draft guidance, and in addition to a title change and editorial changes made primarily for clarification, the guidance has been revised to clarify certain concepts discussed in the revised dr...
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    European Commission Consults on Recalibrating Aspects of Drug Patents, SPCs

    The European Commission last week released for consultation a proposal to re-work certain elements of the EU pharmaceutical patent system and industry group Medicines for Europe is calling for the introduction of a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) manufacturing waiver and for a wider definition of the research exemption. Background In the EU, SPCs, which apply to innovative pharmaceutical and plant protection products and have been increasingly used sinc...
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    Many Questions, Few Answers in Senate Hearing on Opaque US Drug Pricing System

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee on Tuesday discussed with representatives of the pharmaceutical supply chain how the drug delivery system affects what patients pay. Although none of the comments and arguments for reducing the price of pharmaceuticals were new, panelists and senators even seemed to disagree on what exactly is causing prices in the US to be so much higher than the rest of the world. Mark Merritt, president of the Phar...
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    Health Canada Seeks to Update User Fees for Drug and Device Firms

    Health Canada this week opened for consultation a proposal to update and increase some of the fees it assesses for pharmaceutical and medical device companies, noting that the last update came in 2011 and was based on 2007 data. In addition to increasing some fees significantly (see more below on some of the changes), the proposal would also give new authority to Health Canada to withdraw or withhold service or approval if a fee is not paid, and all fees moving fo...
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    340B: Health System Execs Push Back on Narrowing of Drug Discount Program

    The House Energy & Commerce's subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday discussed the federal 340B drug discount program, which provides participating hospitals and other medical providers deep discounts on outpatient drugs.  Background In 1992, Congress created the 340B program to mandate that pharmaceutical manufacturers provide discounts for certain drugs, which can range between 25% and 50% for average wholesale prices. The Health Services and ...