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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Financing and Distribution of Pharmaceuticals in the United States

Financing and Distribution of Pharmaceuticals in the United States | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Adapted from a figure by the Congressional Budget Office.1 Services represent contractual relationships between entities. Rebates are payments from manufacturers to pharmaceutical benefit managers. Chargebacks are payments from manufacturers to distributors. Retailers include pharmacies, hospitals, group purchasing organizations, and mail-order programs. AMP indicates average manufacturer price; WAC, wholesale acquisition cost.

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Pharma reputation from a patient perspective is growing! See the latest results of 2015 survey.

Pharma reputation from a patient perspective is growing! See the latest results of 2015 survey. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Reports published in 2016 on the Corporate Reputation of Pharma, as viewed by over 1,000 patient groups


The corporate Reputation of Pharma is growing:
In 2011 there was 42.0% of patient groups stating that the corporate reputation of the Pharma industry is "excellent" or "good". Although this percentage decreased to a 34% in 2012, it has increased ever since to 44.7% in 2015!

For a quick summary about our methodology and series of reports on corporate reputation of pharma and medical devices view the powerpoint here


Of course, this global indicators must be seen from the differentiated perspectives of regions and diseases!


Reports of Pharma's Corporate Reputation over regions:



Reports of Pharma's Corporate Reputation over therapeutic areas.:

Cancer; Circulatory conditions; Diabetes; HIV/Aids; Hepatitis; Neurological conditions; Mental health; Skin; Respiratory and Rare diseases.
Reports for Respiratory and Circulatory conditions are forthcoming. 

Via rob halkes
Pharma Guys insight:

Related article: “Pharma's Rep Among Patient Groups at 4-Year High”; It should be noted that several of the patient organizations participating in this survey receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Also read, “#Pharma to Patient Advocacy Groups Questioning High Drug Prices: ‘Why Are You Doing This to Us?’”; and “Americans Hate the #Pharma Industry Almost as Much as They Hate U.S. Gov't!”;

rob halkes's curator insight, October 18, 2016 5:50 AM

Great to seen how pharma's Corporate Reputation in the eyes of the patients is growing globally from 2011 to 2015, with a dip in 2012. Study the nuances for different global regions and Disease conditions!

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Healthcare In Vietnam

Most formerly impoverished countries that engage in a serious round of economic reforms struggle with how and when to prioritize government spending on public healthcare.  The good news is the Vietnamese government is increasing its spending on healthcare and, perhaps more importantly, the country’s emerging consumers are driving demand for western healthcare products, as evidenced by the western brands that now populate the many pharmacies and clinics across Vietnam.  Projections are that over the next five years, Vietnam should enjoy around a 20% compound annual growth rate of pharmaceuticals.  While some of this will be driven by hospital formulary purchases, much of the growth reflects increased appetites for western pharmaceuticals by consumers.  It is estimated per capita health expenditures in Vietnam should increase from$66/year in 2008 to $116 by the end of this year.

Can Vietnam learn from China on how to more efficiently and quickly reform and modernize its public healthcare system than China has been able to?  What role – if any – does the Vietnamese government want the private sector to play in terms of creating new capacity or delivering healthcare goods and services?  Where are Vietnam’s current regulations limiting how multinationals access the market and talk to clinicians and consumers?  Which companies are doing a good job in Vietnam, and what lessons do they have to offer other firms who are either considering a venture in Vietnam, or are looking to expand what they do in the country?  In the coming weeks, we will take a look at these questions and more, all with an eye on how investors can and should think about opportunities in Vietnam’s healthcare market.

Pharma Guys insight:

But, as in China, will pharmaceutical companies bribe corrupt Vietnamese physicians and hospitals to get them to prescribe their drugs? Vietnam seems ripe for such activities.

For more, read: 

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DTC Makes My Job Harder, Says Doc

DTC Makes My Job Harder, Says Doc | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
Direct-to-consumer advertising is the biggest barrier to practicing medicine today, cardiologist Harmony Reynolds, MD, said in response to one of 10 questions MedPage Today is asking thought

1. What's the biggest barrier to practicing medicine today?

Direct-to-consumer advertising. These ads often frighten people about medication side effects without providing the right information about why a medication may be needed and why taking a small risk of side effects may be worthwhile. I don't think companies realize all of the effects these ads have. They make my job harder.

Pharma Guys insight:

OK. One physician does not a consensus make. Her specialty is coronary artery disease and she seems to like prescribing high doses of statins. Ads for statins actually mention why they are needed and they don't overplay the risks, which are minimal.  So I am not sure why these DTC ads would be a barrier to Dr. Reynolds' practice of medicine.

In any case, drugs ads tend to understate the risks. About 40% of violations in drug ads cited by the FDA between 2004 and 2013 relate to "risk minimization." That's twice the percentage of violations relating to "overstated efficacy" (see chart here: Do TV DTC Ads Overstate Rx Drug Risks?).

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Fake patient story wins a real-life marketing award? Discuss

Fake patient story wins a real-life marketing award? Discuss | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV. That approach has put pharma in the doghouse before. But now, here's a new question. What about, "I'm not a patient, but I play one in a promo campaign for doctors"?

As the Pharma Marketing Blog reports, one of the few industry campaigns to snap up a gold Lion at the Lions Health ad festival this week was an Australian effort from McCann Health. Subject: Johnson & Johnson's  anti-inflammatory drug Simponi. Approach: patient storytelling, a big buzz-phrase these days in pharma advertising.

Thing is, the patient whose story features in the Simponi "Cate" campaign wasn't real. The story was a well-crafted visual narrative designed to show how easy it is for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to dose themselves--something that's not pleasant for users of some RA therapies. And to illustrate how well it works, of course.

McCann described the video campaign--formed from hundreds of photographs--as a depiction of a month in the life of "a Simponi patient, Cate Jackson." Among those hundreds of pics, only one featured Cate injecting herself with Simponi, as a visual representation of how quick and simple it is. But as the Pharma Marketing Blog points out, there's a straightforward, discreet disclaimer at the end of that video. "This patient story is fictional. A model was used in the photographs."

Full disclosure. But is that enough? If drugmakers plan to rely on "patient stories" to illustrate various advantages of their products, do the stories need to be nonfiction--real, not imagined? Or can a visual metaphor like McCann's campaign, with its one actual treatment-specific shot, be perfectly valid if the patient doesn't exist?

No doubt a story would be more convincing if it is true, and we can envision drugmakers discrediting any fake narrative floated by a competitor. That's a PR problem in the making. But given all that DTC history of fake patients, one could make a case for "typical patient" stories. Either way, it sounds like a conundrum drugmakers need to address up front rather than risk being blindsided by criticism.

Ironically enough, a real patient's narrative picked up a Lion in Cannes this week, the blog post notes. But it was a bronze, not a gold.

Pharma Guys insight:

Oh yes, there's a need to discuss this! I've pointed to this problem a number of times in the past. "Nobody Knows You're a Fake Patient on the Internet!" and "Alice, 35, is Not a Real Ambien CR Patient."

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The World's Most Reputable Pharmaceutical Companies In 2016 According to Survey of Uninformed Consumers

The World's Most Reputable Pharmaceutical Companies In 2016 According to Survey of Uninformed Consumers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Like in most industries, players in the pharmaceutical world get a boost when customers the world over feel that they are innovators, act responsibly and are, generally speaking, a force for good. Recently a survey was published scoring exactly how good people in developed countries all over the world feel about big pharma.


Further Reading:

Via rob halkes
Pharma Guys insight:

NOTE: One trend pharmaceutical companies should take note of is the tendency of respondents to be uninformed or neutral about what companies actually do in certain areas. According to the survey, 12% of respondents did not have knowledge or opinion about the companies’ overall performance. Meanwhile, 11% had no knowledge of companies’ citizenship activities (promoting good causes and protecting the environment) and 14% didn’t know anything about the workplaces of the firms they were asked to score.

rob halkes's curator insight, December 27, 2016 11:20 AM

Just discovered the global pharma reputation ranking by the Reputation Institute. Based on 7 dimensions of reputation, defined by the institute, the companies were evaluated by respondents around the world. These were "Products&Services, Innovation, Workplace,Governance, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance". See the RepTrak Institute here

PatientView however has studied the global reputation of pharma companies in the perspective of patients and patient groups since 2011! See here.  Their respondents were also distinguished by those who state to be familiar with a company and  those who really worked with a company, which generates interesting data! PatientView is now preparing data such that companies can retrieve their bespoke ranking data to see how their reputation in the perspective of patients can further be improved

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Patient Services Survey 2016: Pharma’s Growing Opportunity - Accenture

Patient Services Survey 2016: Pharma’s Growing Opportunity - Accenture | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
We surveyed 200+ patient services executives in the pharma industry to understand where their companies are in developing patient services
The future of patient services is bright.

Patient Services offˆers pharmaceutical companies a tremendous opportunity—for those willing to invest in the right places and let patients know about them in the right way. We surveyed 200+ patient services executives in the pharma industry to understand where their companies are in developing patient services and where they intend to go over the next two years and contrasts that with patients told us they want, value and expect from patient services.

Our survey covered seven therapeutic areas: heart, lungs, brain, immune systems, bones, hormone/metabolism, and cancer. And guess what? Our study revealed that the future of patient services is bright—for both pharmaceutical companies and patients.


  1. Patient Services are delivering value with a significant increase in focus and investment expected over the next two years.
  2. Companies are going big with investments in digital engagement technologies and supporting analytics.
  3. Much of this investment (but not all) is aligned to what patients value


  1. Companies primarily make patients aware of their services through healthcare professionals, however, less than 1 in 5 patients are aware of the services.
  2. The majority of companies are not able to precisely measure the impact of patient services on outcomes.
  3. Heads of patient services/experience are rapidly emerging but without full ownership of the patient experience.

This research report is intended to help pharmaceutical companies’ hone in on the services that present the highest potential—for them and the people who use their therapeutics—so they can take a leadership role in shaping this rapidly evolving market and prepare for the shift from delivering products to delivering better patient and health system outcomes.

Via rob halkes
rob halkes's curator insight, June 1, 2016 9:12 AM

Great insight from this research in what patients want and how pharma tries tof fulfill these needs. However, as this research shows too, only a less than optimal approach is chosen to disseminate and implement the services: a finding we already acknowledged in our own research of pharma's value added services. (See
The right approach to patient services is to create and disseminate them with them instead of to them. You need to align with patient groups to know what patients want in their region within their care. Next, you may align with both physicians and patient (groups) to create local applications in healthcare. See here for more information:

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What's pharma's impact on the mobile health app space? These 3 graphs offer some clues

What's pharma's impact on the mobile health app space? These 3 graphs offer some clues | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
A report highlighting the mobile health app landscape charts pharma companies that have produced the most apps, such as Bayer, Merck and Novartis.

Bayer, Merck and Novartis top the list. Many of them are designed as companion apps for drugs and devices. An app that is available in several languages could also account for some of the relatively high numbers. Some areas of app development Bayer has covered include helping multiple sclerosis patients manage their meds. recording hemophilia A factor VIII infusions and monitoring diet, particularly for people with diabetes. Among the apps Novartis produced include tools for managing cystic fibrosis. Novartis’ oncology division produced a few apps too, such as My Acro Manager to help patients with Acromegaly track test results, medication updates and improve their knowledge of their condition. Medication adherence apps and a tool to track symptoms from HIV treatment are among Merck’s apps

Pharma Guys insight:

Obviously, this is NOT a numbers game! It's all about utility, quality, and usability, which many pharma mobile apps lack. Read "The Sorry State of Pharma Mobile Apps"

At a recent eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014 Summit, Carolyn Gauntlett, Senior Innovation Consultant with IMS Health, gave an interesting presentation titled "How to Make Sure You're Getting the Most Out of Your mHealth App Development."

This article summarizes some major points made in that presentation as well as data from the report "Patient Apps for Improved Healthcare: From Novelty to Mainstream" published by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. 

Topics include (partial list):

  • Some Docs Prescribe More Apps Than Pills
  • So, Why Hasn't Mobile Health "Exploded?"
  • More Apps, Less Meds?
  • Few mHealth Apps Are Worthy
  • Figure: Health App Functionality Score Distribution
  • The Pharma App Black Hole
  • Poor ROI
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It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors

It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
From shady business deals to the lust for fame, television doctors are among the last people we should trust when it comes to health advice.

Though many of television doctors’ pedigrees are, in fact, impressive, it doesn’t exclude them from succumbing to the power trip that is the cult of celebrity.

The most recent example is Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose shilling of various ineffective weight loss supplements ultimately landed him in a congressional hearing that has cost him a fast-vanishing reputation. For Congress to call upon Dr. Oz is to essentially ask that a publicist be present and willing to issue a statement for green coffee.

Lucky for us, Oz somehow has a conscience and basic understanding of how the law works, forcing him to come clean. He further shamed the empire he’s built with statements made on the record against the exact things he’d been uttering on television. It’s a testament to the fever dream haze of celebrity that Dr. Oz’s defense lies squarely in the ability to prop up his audience, even through pseudoscience. To say that Oz is using a white lie to better the public would be letting him off too easy, however.

Pharma Guys insight:

Remember, Dr. Jarvik, the erstwhile "real" physician that Pfizer hired to recommend Lipitor in its TV ads back in 2007? Since he was outed as an unlicensed physician (read the story here), the drug industry has been reluctant to use real physicians in TV drug ads (the exception is that Restasis doctor, the sight of whom drives me to flip the channel). 

There are, however, fake doctors portrayed by unknown actors in drug commercials and there used to be famous TV doctors -- e.g., Dr. Geiger played by Mandy Patinkin -- starring in TV drug ads. Haven't seen any of those lately.

You might like to read this: 

While Real Doctors Prescribe Placebos, Fake Docs on TV Prescribe Drugs Off-Label
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