Celiac disease occurs due to a genetic intolerance to dietary ingested gluten peptides. This initiates an immune response, predominantly in the small bowel, that results in malabsorption and associated symptoms including chronic diarrhea with weight loss, steatorrhea, postprandial abdominal pain, and bloating.
Since Virginia became the first state in May 2013 to enact legislation regulating a pharmacist’s substitution of an interchangeable biologic drug for a prescribed reference biologic drug, there has not been much activity or clarity on the issue.
The world’s leading 30 pharmaceutical companies spent a combined $112 billion on research and development (R&D) in 2013, an increase of $723 million over the previous year. According to our new Global Pharmaceutical Benchmark Report, Roche was the R&D spending leader, outlaying nearly $10 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) increased their R&D spend the most between 2012 and 2013, with each adding around $500 million to their respective clinics. Novartis’ R&D spending grew by 5.6% to $9.8 billion, and J&J spent $8.2 billion, which was up by 6.8% from 2012.
It’s no secret that the compounding industry is under greater scrutiny these days. A number of high-profile cases, including recent deaths linked to outsourced intravenous (IV) compounding at a Texas hospital, have moved patient safety concerns front and center.1 In the wake of ongoing fallout and a 2-year crackdown on compounding centers by FDA, many hospitals are analyzing their current strategy and rethinking the pros and cons of outsourced IV compounding.
There is plenty of activity already in the hepatitis C market as competition has arrived for 2015, including CVS Health versus Express Scripts and Gilead Sciences versus AbbVie, over FDA-approved hepatitis C treatments. This will have implications for retail prescriptions as well as continuity-of-care programs within non-Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) and health systems.
The findings of a new research report from Express Scripts on the use of prescription opiates in the United States indicate that physicians are being more cautious about prescribing pain medications.1 The report shows both a drop in the short-term use of opioids and stabilization in the number of patients using these medications longer term.
This year, the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions were held in Chicago, Illinois, from November 15 to 19. Of all of the late-breaking clinical trials presented at AHA 2014, the IMPROVE-IT (IMProved Reduction of Outcomes: Vytorin Efficacy International Trial) study of Merck’s low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)-reducing drugs—the statin, Zocor (simvastatin), and the fixed-dose combination, Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin)—stole the show.
There’s no hiding that hospital pharmacies have long been considered cost centers for healthcare systems. That positioning has been accentuated over the past 5 years, as the healthcare industry has seen a steady increase in high-cost, brand-name specialty medications that range from hundreds to thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars per dose. Nearly every hospital, however, has untapped opportunities to substantially improve efficiencies and improve costs. One important factor is improving how these hospitals use generic medications.
The number of antibiotic-resistant strains continues to rise rapidly. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) point to alarming trends that are exacerbated by fewer new antibiotics coming into the market and high costs.