Saturday, August 11, 2007
IDSA and ICAAC to join together for their annual meeting in 2008
FYI, since we do quite a bit of ID work, IDSA and ICAAC will be FINALLY joining back together in 2008. Both societies split in the late 90's, IDSA having always been part of ICAAC since I think the 1950's...The reason for the split then was for corporate money sponsorships and for power and for political reasons...Don't you know power politics is involved with everything in business today. At the time of the spilt, ALL the ICAAC and IDSA membership were totally against the split, because as you can surmise it is difficult for ID physicians to take off two weeks for two separate meetings each year...Since the split both organizations have suffered in my opinion from a drop in total attendance for both meetings...Let's hope that this "reunion meeting" in 2008 will continue beyond next year !!
Reunions are great like CREAM, EAGLES, DOOBIE BROTHERS !! Music for all too !!
Why aren't meded agencies held to ethics standards as well?
I have run a meded agency for 20 plus years now and run many symposia pre OIG and post OIG...I have always found and most of my client's agree that for a meded program to be effective "the higher the science" the better...The less commercial the programs are the bigger the audiences and the better value there is for the sponsoring company...It is like that today and it was like that in the 70's !!
I have seen however much of my competition, create bogus agencies, create transparent divisions, create in house CME accreditation and say to the clients we have appropriate "firewalls set up" within our organization to adhere to the OIG guidelines !!
What a load of crap !! How can an agency who is making money from its labor (hopefully), from a promotional service for let's say for example Novartis, create a "New Division" with a new name, at the same address, do CME now for ie... Novartis and be legitimate ?? I have even heard of examples where agencies have even created new corporate filing structures to "get around" rules set in place by Pharma companies to separate CME from promotional sides of activities.
These things are all a sham to subvert the OIG and to basically shaft the pharma companies who would be slapped by Surbane-Oxley and the OIG. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see or hear some medical promotions agency bending the "rules"..that is why we (my agency) either do just promotions for a client or just med ed for a client. I have to look at myself in the mirror every morning and work with the client's best interest in mind (sorry for the self plug)...but it just gauls me how these mega agencies get away with this crap ! And screw their clients in the process. We always try to use a university affiliation for our CME and that we we have no fiduciary connection to the Med ed accreditor at all.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Cost of Antibiotics a Double Edged Sword
For over 30 years, I have worked with pharma companies on promoting their developing and launched antibiotics. Since 1977, I have heard the same mantra from hospital pharmacists, " We can't use expensive new drugs ! We will blow apart our budgets!" A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed, hospital acquired infection rates and the inherent costs associated with patients who are admitted into a hospital for a procedure and then if they catch an infection emanating from the hospital (from central lines, ventilators, post op surgery, etc) the cost of therapy goes from an average of $31,389 to an astounding $185,260 ! It is the opinion today with proper education and techniques, these infection rates can be cut down in frequency...None of these costs have anything to do with the type and cost of antibiotics initially. Epidemiology associated with these infections and surveillance of these rates will help to cut down on the huge expense of treating these patients.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
More Bad News at Pfizer Today !
Pfizer will cut 10,000 jobs and close facilities in an effort to cut costs. Patent problems will also plague this pharma giant. In the months ahead, Zithromax and Zoloft will become generically available. In September of this year, Norvasc will also come off patent. Between 2010 and 2012, Lipitor, Aricept, Viagra, Detrol and Geodon will all lose patent protection. Things look bleak for the largest pharmaceutical company. These patent expirations will put a lot of pressure on Pfizer management in commercial development to in license new drugs for future development. Also expect to see Pfizer acquire another company. Maybe a biotech company this time ?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Even Pfizer can stumble !
As we have all read Pfizer has pulled its newest investigational drug torcetrapib from further trials because of side effect issues(patient deaths). This drug was touted as the replacement for Lipitor, the next new wonder drug from Pfizer drug development. Well as we have seen with many other companies ,drug studies are often a crap shoot. If a serious side effect arises during the study process, the drug can often be pulled. What does this mean to thousands of Pfizer employees and vendors that support Pfizer? It means a lot of pain. Employees will be laid off and vendors will be fired. This is a hard fact of life for the industry that is often described as capitalistic and profit driven. As this news shows not all new compounds reach approval by the FDA and there is a ton of risk and expense incurred when pharmaceutical products fail during development.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Rodmann and Renshaw Healthcare Conference-What does it mean ?
I just attended the R&R Healthcare
economic conference in NYC this past week. After attending about 35 presentations on small pharma
and biotek startup
companies, it occurred to me the amount of risk associated with the development
of new ground
breaking compounds. At every presentation I attended, the one question that the economic analysts asked was, " When does your study data come out ???".
As we all know this business is driven by research and FDA approvals period. The future of all these
small companies relies on positive data for drugs and medical equipment that is innovative and life saving.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Merck Wins Another Case !
"Merck & Co. Inc. won its eighth case related to the COX-2 inhibitor Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was taken off the market in September 2004. In Los Angeles, a state court jury found that Vioxx could not be blamed for a 2001 myocardial infarction that occurred in a California man who had taken the drug intermittently since 1999. Merck produced evidence showing that the man had atherosclerosis and a family history of cardiac problems." This was just reported in the medical media. Of course you won't hear it on CNN, MSNBC or the major networks. The Vioxx case is sad in the fact that many of the men who had fatal heart problems were on multiple meds for many underlying cardiac conditions and that there was no deliberate effort by Merck to "hide" negative data about Vioxx. With the huge liability issues facing the pharmaceutical industry, it is a wonder that any new drugs are developed! Vioxx was a helpful drug that a lot of arthritis patients used for their inflammation and subsequent pain, that no longer is available.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Drug Companies Don't Give Anything Back ! !
Let's look at the facts.....The pharma industry invests more in R&D as a percentage of revenues than computer companies, aircraft manufacturers, electronic companies, automotive companies and telecommunications firms. 79% of the Pharma R&D is for new products. Pharma develops 91% of the most widely used products vs NIH funded technologies. In 2004, pharma patient assistance programs helped over 6 million people. Over 4 billion dollars worth of free medications were provided to low income patients. These are the facts..I think Pharma can do better with the PAP's but they are on the right track !!