PHARMACY

Cutler: ‘Saving money while improving quality of care’ should be at forefront

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO Comparing the situation with a hypothetical B-movie about a whale eating New York, Harvard University economics professor David Cutler showed a chart describing the fiscal collision course the United States could be on if it doesn’t successfully tackle healthcare costs.

 

Cutler, an economic adviser to the Clinton administration and to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, appeared Tuesday at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference in San Diego to talk about healthcare reform and what it means for the healthcare industry.

 

 

While he mostly focused on the clinical side of care, Cutler did discuss the importance of making health care cost less while making it more effective. “It’s not just saving money,” Cutler said. “It’s saving money while improving the quality of care that people get.”

 

 

Managing and using healthcare information also will be important, Cutler said, saying that health care had more information than any other industry. Using companies that analyze stock data and suggest where investors should put their money as an example, he said there probably would be a need for similar companies in health care, which could suggest what kinds of care patients should receive based on such factors as whether they have spouses at home, the climates in which they live and so forth.

 

 

Providers will need to communicate with patients. Cutler cited a statistic that 3% of doctors regularly e-mail their patients. “That’s less than the percentage of priests who e-mail their parishioners,” he said.

 

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MedImmune confirms second CRL from FDA for motavizumab

BY Allison Cerra

GAITHERSBURG, Md. AstraZeneca’s biologics unit has received a second complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration regarding an investigational drug designed to treat respiratory syncytial virus disease.

In the second CRL, the FDA requested that MedImmune complete an additional clinical trial that supports a satisfactory risk/benefit profile to advance the registration of motavizumab, its investigational monoclonal antibody.

MedImmune filed the original biologics license application in January 2008 and received its first complete response letter in November 2008. Motavizumab was reviewed by the FDA’s Antiviral Drugs Advisory committee on June 2 of this year.

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Somaxon, P&G to co-promote Silenor

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO A drug maker and a consumer packaged goods company will co-promote a newly approved insomnia treatment.

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals and Procter & Gamble announced their co-promotion agreement for Silenor, in which Somaxon’s promotion of the drug will target physicans, while P&G will promote Silenor to targeted pharmacies.

Somaxon will record all sales of Silenor and will pay P&G a combination of fixed fees and a royalty based on U.S. net sales. Each party will be responsible for the costs of maintaining and operating its own sales force, and Somaxon is responsible for all other costs pertaining to the commercialization of Silenor.

The term of the agreement runs through Dec. 31, 2012, renewable thereafter, and Somaxon will pay P&G a reduced royalty based on U.S. net sales of Silenor for one year after the expiration of the agreement or its earlier termination under certain circumstances. Governance of the collaboration will occur through a joint commercialization committee.

 

“We are extremely excited to add Procter & Gamble’s highly regarded and tenured professional sales force to our commercialization effort for Silenor,” said Richard Pascoe, Somaxon’s president and CEO. “With the combined effort of both sales forces, we will target 35,000 of the highest prescribers of insomnia products, as well as 25,000 pharmacies, which we believe will allow us to be highly competitive in the insomnia market. In addition, we are excited about the potential to partner with Procter & Gamble for the OTC rights to Silenor as a future life cycle management opportunity.”

 

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