COLLIER’S LIVES AGAIN
Collier’s Magazine will be returning soon…to a waiting room near you. The revived publication (once home to Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Vonnegut) will include consumer healthcare articles along with coverage of politics, finance, and business. Veteran medical publisher John Elduff says the goal is to connect patients with their doctors.
MEDICAL ADVISER SENTENCED FOR INSIDER TRADING
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Dr. Yves Benhamou—an advisor on Human Genome Sciences’ Albuferon clinical trials—to time served, three years of supervised release, and about $6 million in fines and restitution, on charges arising from a 2007 securities fraud and insider trading scheme hatched with hedge fund manager Joseph F. “Chip” Skowron III, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
SPRINGER BUYS SOME WOLTERS KLUWER PHARMA BUSINESS
Wolters Kluwer said that it has completed the previously announced sale of its pharma-related Marketing & Publishing Services business to Springer Science+Business Media. The sale will allow Wolters to “focus on core health markets through its Wolters Kluwer Health & Pharma Solutions division,” the company said. The transferred Marketing & Publishing Services business unit (led by the Adis and inScience Communications brands) is “a leading global provider of strategic marketing, publishing, and business intelligence products and services to the pharmaceutical industry as well as to medical libraries and academic and research institutions.” It accounts for about 35% of Wolters’ pharma-related revenues, and employs about 450 people worldwide.
TUNSTALL ACQUIRES AMAC
American Medical Alert Corp (AMAC), provider of remote health-monitoring and quick-response communication services, completed its previously announced sale to the U.K.-based Tunstall Healthcare Group. The AMAC acquisition boosts Tunstall’s projected revenues to the $300-million level, with 1,900 employees worldwide. AMAC will continue to operate under its existing brand, “with a growing emphasis on the provision of healthcare services.”
HIV TREATMENT ‘BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR’
Science magazine named HPTN 052—the NIH-funded international HIV Prevention Trial—its “Breakthrough of the Year.” The study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine last August) found that HIV-infected heterosexuals are 96% less likely to transmit the virus if they begin taking antiretroviral medicines soon (when their immune systems are relatively healthy) rather than waiting until the disease has advanced.
eHEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS PARTNERS WITH HEALTHYWOMEN.ORG
eHealthcare Solutions (EHS) announced the addition of HealthyWomen.org to its Premium Advertising Network. The EHS Women’s Health Channel and HealthyWomen.org can help reach women who are seeking health information for themselves and other women in their lives. In addition to addressing hundreds of health topics of interest to women generally, the website offers sections targeted to mothers, expectant mothers, women in mid-life, and other segments.
FEW FAVOR DRUG-COST LIMITS
A new survey finds that 62% of Americans oppose government or health insurance decisions that would deny payment for drugs or other treatments because payers deem them too expensive. There is an exception: 64% thought that payers should not cover a more-expensive treatment “if it has not been shown to work better than less expensive ones.” Harvard School of Public Health and the Alliance for Aging Research conducted the Four-Country Comparative Effectiveness Decision-making and Patient Access Survey, which finds the U.S. electorate in tune with majorities in Italy and Germany, and pluralities in the U.K.
CENTER FOR TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCES
In a move to re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices, the National Institutes of Health has established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The action was made possible by Congress’ approval of $575 million for NCATS in fiscal 2012. According to NIH, “A prime example of the type of innovative projects that will be led by NCATS is the new initiative between NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop cutting-edge chip technology. This new technology will allow researchers to screen for safe and effective drugs far more swiftly and efficiently than current methods. A great deal of time and money can be saved testing drug safety and effectiveness much earlier in the process.”
MORE WOMEN IN CLINICAL TRIALS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance aimed “to address the historic underrepresentation of women in clinical studies.” The draft outlines agency recommendations for “designing and conducting device clinical studies that may enhance the enrollment of women in such studies, if appropriate.” The aim is to help future trials include potential variations in therapeutic performance due to differences in genetics, hormones, body size, diet, and sociocultural issues. (See tinyurl.com/86zbgrz.)
NIH Director Francis Collins has temporarily stopped making new grants for protocols that include experimentation on chimpanzees. The moratorium will stay in place while NIH works out procedures for implementing Institute of Medicine recommendations for new standards for approving research involving the primates. The guiding criteria are: That the knowledge gained must be necessary to advance the public’s health; There must be no other research model by which the knowledge could be obtained, and the research cannot be ethically performed on human subjects; and the animals used in the proposed research must be maintained either in ethologically appropriate physical and social environments (i.e., as would occur in their natural environment) or in natural habitats.