Industry Briefs September 2015

Allergan Under Subpoena for Generic Pricing

industry-briefs

Allergan recently received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice concerning their generic drug pricing. The Department of Justice is beginning to investigate the significant rise in multiple drug manufacturers’ revenue during the past year. According to StreetInsider, the subpoena they received in June also seeks information regarding communication about products with other sellers. The department’s investigations are spurred by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s recent finding that half of generic drugs rose in price from 2013 to 2014 and almost 10% doubled in price last year.

Pfizer Deems Lipitor Unsuitable as OTC

After a year-long study conducted by Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant indicated that they will not move forward on plans to make their cholesterol lowering statin, Lipitor, which can prevent heart attacks and strokes, available as an OTC drug. Why? The study indicated that patients cannot monitor and control cholesterol levels on their own, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The Pfizer study reached this conclusion after following 1,300 patients over the course of a year to see if they monitored and took appropriate steps to lower their cholesterol when necessary, but found that patients could not appropriately treat themselves. In turn, this caused the FDA to deem it too dangerous to make the statin a self-treatment drug.

Before the drug manufacturer’s patent ceased in 2011, Lipitor was its highest selling drug, reaching $10 billion in sales. Since then, that number has dropped by $2 billion. Pfizer hoped the OTC conversion would pull in at least another $1 billion.

President Obama Backs Generic Price Investigation

Americans are expressing outrage over the continuously rising price of prescription drugs, especially those for chronic conditions. Many consumers have received President Obama’s support for the demand that Medicare should help negotiate prices set by manufacturers. According to Reuters, the majority of consumers surveyed in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll believe drug manufacturers are behind high costs and Medicare should have the power to counter them. The largely Republican congress is expected to quell this movement.

Google Creates Alphabet: What Does it Mean?

Google’s CEO, Larry Page, recently renamed the company Alphabet, essentially creating a holding company for its largest company, Google, and its collection of companies (YouTube, Android, to name a couple), according to a recent report by Forbes. Alphabet is expected to expand its health efforts, which currently includes Life Sciences, which is focused on its glucose-sensing contact lens, and Calico, which is focused on life longevity.

As the company is restructured, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, will become CEO of Alphabet, while Senior VP Sundar Pichai will become Google’s CEO. After the announcement in August, according to Forbes, the company’s stock shares surged upward by more than 6%.

MediScripts Re-Brands as MediSolutions

As the leading provider of point-of-prescription promotion and education resources, the 34-year-old company, MediScripts, rebranded as MediSolutions. This signals the company’s intention to position itself as an all-inclusive multichannel clinical advertising network.

“The new company name represents our commitment to grow our suite of solutions that increase awareness and reinforce brand value for our customers,” says Erez Lapsker, MediSolutions CEO. The company’s former name will now represent its flagship product, PhRMA Code compliant prescription pads. MediSolutions has launched a website (http://getmedisolutions.com) to provide an overview of its prescriber-purchased resources for physicians it has introduced to more than 130 brands, messaged through branded and unbranded content delivery at the point-of-prescription.

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