HEALTH

Report: Emails from drug companies increase brand loyalty

BY Alaric DeArment

DALLAS Patients adhere to their prescriptions better and become more loyal to products and brands when they receive emails from drug companies, according to a study released Tuesday.

Market research firm Epsilon enlisted Lancanster, Pa.-based ROI Research in October to conduct a nationwide survey of consumers who receive permission-based email from pharmaceutical companies. Of 1,517 respondents, 42% said permission-based email had a direct effect on activities like taking medications as instructed by doctors and filling prescriptions; 44% said they were more likely to stay on a drug from a drug company that sent them permission-based emails, and 60% said the emails gave them a more favorable opinion of drug companies.

“Email marketing is a necessary tool to increase affordability and educate consumers on the benefits of specific drugs and the importance of compliance,” Epsilon Strategic Services SVP Kevin Mabley said in a statement. “The Internet has created resources and enabled consumers to take more control of their medical education, and email supports these efforts.”

The survey data has a margin of error of 2.5%. A summary of the survey is available at  www.epsilon.com/pr/pharmaemailbranding.

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HEALTH

OTC heartburn relief used in prevention of peptic ulcers

BY Michael Johnsen

BEIJING A research team led by Satoshi Mochida from Japan addressed the incidence of low-dose aspirin-induced peptic ulcer in elderly individuals, concluding that the use of H2 receptor antagonists like Pepcid or proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec OTC may help in reducing peptic ulcer associated with a low-dose aspirin therapy.

Their results indicated that H2RA therapy was effective for both the prevention and treatment of low-dose aspirin induced peptic ulcers, similar to the effects of PPIs, while cytoprotective anti-ulcer drugs were ineffective in preventing peptic ulcers.

The study was published on Feb. 14 edition of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Generic Pharmaceutical Association praises Pres. Obama’s budget proposal

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, which includes an approval pathway for biosimilars, won praise from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association last week.

“For patients across the country suffering from cancer, diabetes and other diseases, the support stated by president Obama today for a workable biogenerics approval pathway is lifesaving news,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. “With countless patients struggling to pay the high costs of brand biopharmaceuticals, an approval pathway for safe, effective and affordable biogeneric medicines that provides access sooner rather than later is desperately needed.”

The model that the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 established for generic drugs provides a five-year period of data exclusivity for branded pharmaceutical drugs, which GPhA favors for biosimilars as well. However, the Biotechnology Industry Organization favors a 14-year data exclusivity period, saying that the Hatch-Waxman model would not provide sufficient time for biotech companies to recoup research and development expenses, thus stifling innovation.

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