HEALTH

Oncologists favor biosimilar adoption, Decision Resources finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. While biosimilars promise to provide therapies for a wide range of diseases, their biggest fans may come from cancer specialists, according to a new report.

Healthcare market research firm Decision Resources found in a report that oncologists would be the most aggressive in adopting biosimilars compared with other specialists because of their lower clinical trial requirements. According to research, oncologists in the United States will adopt biosimilars faster than their European counterparts because they will require fewer and shorter phase-3 clinical trials before they feel comfortable prescribing them.

The firm expected biosimilars of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, as well as biosimilars of monoclonal antibody therapies used to treat cancer, to reduce brand sales by more than $7 billion in 2019 in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which Decision Resources collectively refers to as the “EU5.”

“Because of patent expiries and more-established regulatory pathways for approving biosimilars in Europe, most biosimilar [monoclonal antibodies] will launch in the EU5 before the United States,” Decision Resources analyst Cindy Fung said. “As a result, U.S. physicians will likely benefit from clinical experience in European markets that will increase their rate of adopting these agents.”

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Cirrus targets ear-ringing with Tinnitex

BY Allison Cerra

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. Cirrus Healthcare Products has expanded its ear care offerings with a new product, slated to hit retail shelves in spring 2011.

Tinnitex is the first and only earplug to help relieve tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears, the company said. According to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, more than 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus.

“Tinnitex gives the suffering consumer an option to the inconvenience of ear drops or the excessive amount of pills that consumers are tired of taking. The Tinnitex earplug is easy to apply and comfortable to wear and, at about $10 at retail for six pairs, provides affordable relief,” said Cirrus CEO Drew O’Connell.

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GSK Consumer Healthcare to FDA: Smoke out smokeless tobacco products

BY Allison Cerra

PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is urging the Food and Drug Administration to remove smokeless tobacco products from the market.

GSK Consumer Healthcare, which manufactures such nicotine-replacement therapy products as Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ, submitted a comment to the FDA on the potential public health impact of oral dissolvable tobacco products, "calling for such products to be withdrawn from the market until their sponsors can demonstrate to [the FDA] that their marketing is appropriate for the protection of public health," the company noted in a release Tuesday.

The announcement comes after the American Heart Association issued a policy statement on smokeless tobacco products, which said that such products are not safe alternatives to smoking and are associated with heart attack, stroke and certain cancers.

GSK Consumer Healthcare also said that it is committed to working with the FDA, in addition to medical and clinical experts to make smoking-cessation products safe and available for consumers.

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