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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Drug Middlemen Price Gouging in UK: Pfizer Fined £84m Fine for Hiking Price of Generic Epilepsy Drug

Drug Middlemen Price Gouging in UK: Pfizer Fined £84m Fine for Hiking Price of Generic Epilepsy Drug | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pfizer's decision to ramp up the price of its epilepsy drug phenytoin sodium has earned it a record-breaking fine from the UK authorities.


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has levied an £84.2m fine on Pfizer - as well as a £5.2m penalty for distributor Flynn Pharma - saying they hiked the price of the drug up to 2,600% overnight in September 2012. Pfizer said it "refutes the findings" and will appeal.


The allegations centre on Pfizer's sale of its branded product sold as Epanutin to Flynn at that time, which promptly genericised the drug, freeing it from price regulation.


Pfizer continued to sell the product to Flynn at a sizeable mark-up than its previous prices, and Flynn sold it on to pharmacies and wholesalers "charging them prices which have been between 2,300% and 2,600% higher than those they had previously paid for the drug".


As a result the amount the NHS was charged for 100mg packs of the drug rocketed from £2.83 to £67.50, before reducing to £54.00 from May 2014, pushing up NHS spending on the drug from around £2m a year to £50m. The prices of the drug in the UK have also been "many times higher than Pfizer's prices for the same drug in any other European country,” says the CMA in its judgment.


The case suggests that massive price hikes for off-patent drugs - particularly those with few alternatives - may not only be a phenomenon in the US, where Turing Pharma's 5,000% increase for toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) prompted a public outcry and scrutiny of pharma practices last year.

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Sun Rises on UK Pharma Payments to HCPs

Sun Rises on UK Pharma Payments to HCPs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

[Curated by @pharmaguy; image copyright 2016, Pharma Marketing Network.]

 

UK pharma has published details of the payments and benefits in kind it provides to doctors, nurses and pharmacists as long-awaited industry transparency rules come into force.


The ABPI's publically-available database, Disclosure UK, reveals the industry paid healthcare professionals (HCPs) £340.3m in 2015, two-thirds of which (£229.3m) was for R&D work.


The remaining £111m was for a range of commercial rather than R&D activities, with nearly half of that money (£49.3m) going on a range of service and consultancy fees.


The next largest chunk of money was for event-related payments, which accounted for £31.4m in 2015, with £10.8m of that going on travel and accommodation.


Closely behind that were donations and grants to healthcare organisations, on which UK pharma companies spent £30.3m in 2015.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Compare this to how Pfizer dishes out dollars to docs in the U.S.: “Pfizer Reveals (Almost) All Payments to Physicians”; http://bit.ly/d5u15G

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Most UK HCPs Back ABPI's Plan to Publish Pharma Industry Payments to Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists

Most UK HCPs Back ABPI's Plan to Publish Pharma Industry Payments to Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Most clinicians back moves to make payments received from pharma companies more transparent, finds a survey commissioned by the industry body, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).


But a significant minority of GP respondents said they would be less likely to work with pharma companies as a result, finds the poll, carried out by the ComRes consultancy.


Among 500 healthcare professionals questioned, including 127 GPs and similar numbers of hospital pharmacists, nurses, and specialists, 87% agreed that payments from pharmaceutical companies to individually named healthcare professionals should be transparent. 


Seven out of ten (69%) with a current relationship with one or more pharma companies said that they have already given or are likely to give permission for the companies they work with to disclose their payment information.


The survey results come amid preparations to disclose details of payments and other transfers of value pharmaceutical companies have made to individual healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations this year on a publicly accessible, searchable database that will be hosted on the ABPI's website from June 2016.

 

The initiative is part of a Europe-wide programme to boost transparency in respect of the relationships between the industry and the healthcare sector.


Dr Virginia Acha, the ABPI’s Executive Director Research, Medical and Innovation, said that these relationships were important for the development of new treatments and patient care.


Nevertheless, one in three (32%) of those questioned felt it unnecessary to declare payments from pharmaceutical companies to individually named healthcare professionals, while one in four (26%) believe that declaring these payments will adversely affect medical innovation. 


Three out of four said that the disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical companies will have no effect on their relationship with these companies, but views differed according to professional group, the survey found.


Around a quarter (23%) of the GPs said they would be less likely to work with the industry in the future as a result of the publication of these data, which is considerably higher than hospital specialists (17%), pharmacists (10%) or nurses (6%).

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BMJ Charts Which UK Docs Receive Non-Research Pharma Payments

BMJ Charts Which UK Docs Receive Non-Research Pharma Payments | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

This week the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) launched its long awaited database of payments to doctors. This is a useful step towards greater transparency and public accountability, but it serves mainly to show just how far we have yet to go.

Pharma Guy's insight:

For more numbers, read: "Sun Rises on UK Pharma Payments to HCPs"; http://sco.lt/5MQJqD 

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Do Payments to HCPs by #Pharma Threaten to Undermine Patient Trust?

Do Payments to HCPs by #Pharma Threaten to Undermine Patient Trust? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The following discussion was commissioned and controlled [LOL!] by the Guardian, funded by ABPI.

 

Virginia Acha, executive director, research, medical and innovation, ABPI: I trust my GP to be able to hear all of the comments and all of the information, and make a decision in my best interests. The main thing is to support that exploration of all of the facts and in a transparent way.

 

Dr Peter Gordon, campaigner for transparency in medicine: Science strives to be objective. Partnership with commercial interests risks putting the shareholders first.

 

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive, National Voices: The question is at what point health professionals would become embarrassed into disclosure. Suppose patients started using presence on the register as a criterion for choosing some professionals over others? [For more on that, read "“Patients May Leave Docs Who Prescribe Expensive Drugs & Take $ from #Pharma”; http://sco.lt/5RtFk9]

 

Gordon: The significant majority of healthcare workers, scientists and academics have never received payments from outside commercial interests. My worry is those that do – the key opinion leaders ... need not declare.

 

Dr Waheed Jamal, vice president – medical, Europe, GlaxoSmithKline: We have what we call a “no consent-no contract” policy to help make sure there is close to 100% individual-named disclosure in line with the EFPIA [European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations]/ABPI code. This means we will no longer work with healthcare professionals in future should they not give consent to disclose the payments that have been made.

 

David Eves, head of compliance, Chugai Pharma Marketing Ltd: The pros are that the development of any therapy will be more meaningful and add value to patient care in the UK. Without that interaction the decisions made regarding where a product may fit will hold less value.

 

Acha: I think the focus so far is on payments to healthcare professionals for their advice and work on specific projects (eg pre- and post-licensing advisory boards). Actually, a good share ... is related to supporting healthcare professionals to attend international congresses and other continuing medical education. This is vital to ensure that our healthcare professionals remain at the forefront of scientific debate. This helps everyone.

 

 

Pharma Guy's insight:

Related: “Most UK HCPs OK with Revealing #Pharma Payments to Docs, But...”; http://sco.lt/7dZ0gz

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