Industry Briefs March 2014

Health Strategies Group (HSG) Launches New Service

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The new market research service, Health Plan Oncology Pathways Insight and Evolution, will help pharma payer marketers assess health plan and oncologist perspectives on oncology pathway implementation, measurement and adherence, according to the Health Strategies Group. Marketers will be able to identify opportunities to influence brand inclusion over the next two years. The research involves 108 online surveys and 25 in-depth interviews with pharmacy executives and medical directors, representing 28 national health plans, regional independent plans and Blue affiliates.

GA Communications Forms sandbox

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The full-service marketing and communication agency founded sandbox, the new agency network based in Chicago. Sandbox will aim to build its network with mid-size marketing and advertising agencies worldwide. According to John Hilbrich, CEO, sandbox “…clients want to work with companies that are more nimble, efficient and strategically located than conglomerates.” GA’s co-owner, Joe Kuchta and CEO, Mark Goble will continue to manage the daily operations of GA while playing a leadership role in the strategy and development of sandbox.   

Gilead’s New Hep C Cure Sought by Poor Nations

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With approximately 150 million people worldwide believed to have hepatitis C, an illness that causes liver damage and cancer, Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi (sofobuvir) is the first drug to hit the market that can cure Hep C, according to a recent article in The New York Times. But at an expected cost of $84,000 per treatment, the Times also reports that treatment may be out of reach for many poor countries. At this time, four other drug manufacturers are developing similar drugs to become available in the next three years—within the same price range.

In response, the Access Campaign of Doctors without Borders is lobbying to make cocktails of sofobuvir and similar drugs available that, the Times states, the group estimates can be made for $250 or less. Doctors Without Borders is also opposing the drug manufacturer’s patent application for sofobuvir in India, where Gilead would like to license drug companies to create a $2,000 per treatment version of the drug. The group is also seeking agreement from The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Unitaid to pay for the drugs if they become affordable.

Sanofi Files Suit

Sanofi filed a suit against Eli Lilly and Company on January 30, 2014 for infringement of four patents in the U.S. District Court in Delaware. Eli Lilly stated that it filed a New Drug Application (NDA) for an insulin glargine drug LY2963016. Sanofi claims that Eli Lilly’s NDA for the insulin glargine product infringes four patents of their diabetes drug, Lantus. Sanofi also added that Eli Lilly’s NDA challenged six of the seven Sanofi patents on Lantus and Lantus SoloStar products. Eli Lilly stated that it will not launch its product before Sanofi’s patent on the active ingredient in Lantus expires on February 12, 2015.

Precision Health Media Rebrands

The programmatic technology provider rebranded as PageScience and is now offering its technology services to advertisers in the finance, automobile and consumer electronics industries. As a result of consumer privacy concerns on behavioral targeting, PageScience has launched a page-level contextual targeting technology rather than relying on cookies. The company will continue to service pharmaceutical brands under Precision Health Media.

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