Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Celgene "Gets Away with Murder!" Raises Prices Again and Again.

Celgene "Gets Away with Murder!" Raises Prices Again and Again. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Judging by the latest pricing data, Robert Hugin is still getting away with murder.

 

Last January, the Celgene (CELG) chief executive sat alongside President Trump at a widely covered White House meeting to discuss pharmaceutical issues. The gathering was held shortly after Trump claimed drug makers are “getting away with murder” over their prices. And four months earlier, Allergan (AGN) chief executive Brent Saunders challenged other companies to hold their annual price hikes to single digits.

 

So what does Hugin do? He keeps raising prices.

 

Last week, Celgene raised the price of its best-selling Revlimid cancer treatment by 9 percent, the third time this year the biotech has taken a price hike, according to Cowen analyst Eric Schmidt.

 

In July, Celgene boosted the price by 1.75 percent after an 8 percent increase in January. The latest price hike brings the average price for Revlimid up by 14.1 percent this year compared with last year, which is well above the price increases of 11.4 percent last year and 9.4 percent two years ago, Schmidt noted.

 

But wait, there’s more.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Thalidomide Offsprings Yield Blockbuster Profits for Celgene Aided by Off-Label Promotion”; http://sco.lt/5kJeZV
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Pharma Payments to HCPs Topped $8 Billion in 2016. Allergan & Celgene Paid Out the Most!

Pharma Payments to HCPs Topped $8 Billion in 2016. Allergan & Celgene Paid Out the Most! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Payments from drug and device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals hit more than $8 billion in 2016 according to Open Payments data recently released by CMS.

All told, nearly 631,000 physicians and approximately 1,146 teaching hospitals received $8.18 billion in payments and ownership and investment interests in 2016, according to tallies compiled by the CMS. Last year's total was $7.52 billion.

About half of the overall payments were for research and $2.7 billion were in payments not related to research. A little more than $1 billion stemmed from ownership or investment interests.

Of the largest pharmaceutical companies, Allergan paid out the most in 2016 with $66 million in total payments. Dr. George Patrick Maxwell, a plastic surgeon in Nashville, is listed as the highest payment recipient from Allergan, with $4.6 million.

Celgene was the second-highest spender with a total of $54 million in payments last year. Of its recipients, Boston oncologist Dr. Kenneth C. Anderson a took in the most, with $1.9 million.

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Another #Pharma Film About Psoriasis Awareness - This Time by Celgene

Another #Pharma Film About Psoriasis Awareness - This Time by Celgene | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Celgene has released a fictional film to raise the profile of the physical and social challenges people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis face every day.


The short film - Millefeuille (A Thousand Leaves) - tells the story of Élodie, a Frenchwoman who was forced to give up her career as a pastry chef due to her struggles with the effects of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.


Lee Heeson, vice president of inflammation and immunology at Celgene EMEA, said: “We believe that 'coping' is not good enough and that patients deserve more.


“It is our hope that using an approach which goes beyond the 'standard' definition of disease information - and uses fiction to bring the message to life - can help those who are less motivated or not seeking psoriasis education, to challenge the status quo and live better lives.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

This is not the first psoriasis film produced by a pharmaceutical company. Back in 2007, Centocor produced Interspace, which focused on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease, and psoriasis. Here's how the film is described in Centocor's press release:

 

"...a first-of-its-kind documentary providing insight into the 'inner states' of three everyday adults facing chronic, life-altering inflammatory diseases. As they confront daily challenges and life's experiences, they tell the emotional stories of their journeys toward living 'normal' lives in a film that is sure to touch the hearts of all viewers, including the millions of Americans who suffer from these conditions."

 

Learn more about this film and how I got invited to a private screening here: http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2007/03/innerstate-private-screening.html 

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Celgene to Pay $280 Million to Settle Fraud Suit Over Illegal Marketing of Cancer Drugs

Celgene to Pay $280 Million to Settle Fraud Suit Over Illegal Marketing of Cancer Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The pharmaceutical company Celgene has agreed to pay $280 million to settle claims that it marketed the cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for unapproved uses, the company said on Tuesday.

 

Under the terms of the settlement, which resulted from a lawsuit filed by a whistle-blower — a former sales representative at Celgene — the company will pay $259.3 million to the United States and $20.7 million to 28 states and the District of Columbia.

 

The Celgene settlement is the latest in a string of multimillion-dollar fines that pharmaceutical companies have paid to settle charges that they inappropriately marketed certain drugs in recent years, but this case is one of the largest settlements to involve a cancer drug, said Reuben A. Guttman, who represented the whistle-blower, Beverly Brown.

 

Cancer drugs are seen as more difficult to pursue in so-called off-label marketing cases in part because oncologists often prescribe drugs for unapproved uses in an effort to combat a deadly and still mysterious disease.

 

“The company got the idea that it could be fast and loose with what it was saying about its drug because it was selling to cancer patients who might be in need,” Mr. Guttman said. “At the end of the day, what this is about is that even when you’re on life’s edge,” he added, a company “can’t break the law by off-label marketing a drug.”

 

Brian Gill, a spokesman for Celgene, which is based in New Jersey, said in a statement on Tuesday that the company denied any wrongdoing and said it was “settling to avoid the uncertainty, distraction, and expense of protracted litigation.”

 

For background, read:

  • “A Pharma Marketing "Bait-and-Switch" Scheme: Sales Reps Disguised as Medical Science Liaisons”; http://bit.ly/Mxr9I3
  • “Thalidomide Offsprings Yield Blockbuster Profits for Celgene Aided by Off-Label Promotion”; http://sco.lt/5kJeZV

Pharma Guy's insight:

The CEO of Celgene looks like Bruce Willis! :) But he's no "good guy"!

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Big Pharma Leaders Endorse Trump’s Protectionist Policies to Compensate for “Innovation Woes,” Says Former Industry Exec

Four pharma CEOs (from Lilly, Merck, Pfizer and Celgene) have signed a letter to congressional leaders voicing support for a tax reform that would let them repatriate, under advantageous tax treatment, tens of billions of dollars parked overseas.

 

Their letter, which was co-signed by several CEOs of non-pharma companies, can be seen here. In plain English, it translates as: "Our tax system is a mess. High taxes put us at a comparative disadvantage to our international competitors. We must nullify the advantage we gave them by imposing punitive border taxes."

 

What is worrisome is that the pharma leaders' endorsement of protectionist policies fits in a pattern of addressing their companies' innovation woes by relying on strategies that produce none of it—typically financial ploys, lobbying, and regulatory gimmicks. They include recurrent mergers & acquisitions, tax inversions, share buy-backs, runaway prices, coupon games, orphan designations for some of their biggest drugs, patent fortresses around aging biologicals, and arcane regulations in international treaties to blunt competition. It may buy them some time, but that is little relief. What they need is innovation. Unless they start producing more of it, the rest is delusion.

 

We expect better of our pharma CEOs. For now though, these get a dunce cap.

 

Pharma Guy's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Gilead Dodges Taxes While Gouging Prices, Says Advocacy Group”; http://sco.lt/7IjyXR
  • “Pfizer, U.S. Law Breaker & Tax Evader, Launches an Ad Campaign to Improve Its Rep”; http://sco.lt/6YHmoj
  • “Tax Evader #Pharma Mylan Reprimanded for Doing Little to Stop Use of Its Drug for Executions in U.S.”; http://sco.lt/8YzVsP
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