Industry Briefs April 2017

Veeva and QuintilesIMS Trade Lawsuits

After three years of negotiation attempts, QuintilesIMS and Veeva have traded lawsuits. Most recently, Veeva filed a countersuit against the company for violations of federal and state antitrust and unfair competition laws. The company alleges that actions taken by QuintilesIMS—notably the company’s refusal to allow customers to load its customer reference data into Veeva’s master data management product are unlawful. Other companies, including Symphony Health, filed similar lawsuits against IMS stretching back to 2013.

Earlier this year, QuintilesIMS filed a suit against Veeva alleging the theft and misuse of QuintilesIMS’ intellectual property. Medidata Solutions also filed a recent suit against Veeva for the “willful and deliberate theft of Medidata’s valuable trade secrets.” In the suit, Medidata claims that Veeva obtained those trade secrets by deliberately targeting Medidata’s employees and getting them to violate their contracts with Medidata.

Affordability Cap Could Impact Drug Innovation

Merck’s Keytruda, BMS’ Opdivo, and Roche’s Tecentriq could take a big hit as the U.K. eliminates funding for drugs that cost more than 20 million pounds, or roughly $25 million U.S. annually—limiting the availability of new treatments. According to a report from Channel News Asia, this comes at a time when progress has been strong, but that could now slow considerably.

“Almost all these new cancer drugs will hit the 20 million pounds ceiling very quickly indeed, particularly when used for common cancers, like lung cancer,” Peter Johnson, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Southampton, said in a statement. Mike Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry adds, “It’s a disastrous signal to send to the rest of the world.”

PeerSourcing Solutions Launches New Pharma Branding Tool

PeerSourcing Solutions, which is led by Maureen Regan, Richard Campbell, and Brendan Ward—who formally ran ad agency McCann Regan Campbell Ward—has launched a new offering called PHARMATYPE Brand Ideas. This system is a web-based application that allows target physicians to log on and interact with a product. Their responses are collected and analyzed to create a specific brand personality—called a PHARMATYPE persona—which marketers can use as part of their campaign. However, PeerSourcing Solutions is neither a market research company nor an ad agency. “We’re in the brand-idea business,” Ward said in a statement. “Our ideas can be tested alongside or used in place of the agency of record.”

EpiPen Sales Increase, But Payer Woes Continue

Although out-of-pocket costs for patients filling prescriptions for Mylan’s EpiPen jumped by 535% between 2007 and 2014, a study published by JAMA found that the number of prescriptions filled tripled over the same period—and sales continued to uptick in 2016 after Mylan launched a generic version priced at $300. At that time, however, Cigna also dropped coverage of the branded product, and Mylan was later charged with falsely classifying the drug as a generic to increase Medicaid revenues. Mylan agreed to pay the federal government $465 million to resolve the claims.

JAMA study author, Jing Luo, notes, “High spending on prescription drugs on the part of public payers, like Medicaid, means that they have less to spend on coverage for other health benefits such as doctor’s visits, hospitalizations and long-term care.” He warns, “They must either reduce covered healthcare services or reduce the number of eligible members and kick people off Medicaid.”

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