Patent cliff in horrifying context. The New York Times this weekend quantified the patent cliff, which this year will jeopardize $50 billion in drug revenue.
And it casts a spotlight on the problems drug companies now face: a drought of big drug breakthroughs and research discoveries; pressure from insurers and the government to hold down prices; regulatory vigilance and government investigations; and thousands of layoffs in research and development.
Morgan Stanley recently downgraded the entire group of multinational pharmaceutical companies based in Europe ’ AstraZeneca, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Roche ’ in a report titled ’An Avalanche of Risk? Downgrading to Cautious.’ The analysts wrote, ’The operating environment for pharma is worsening rapidly.’Advertisement
The same concerns apply to drug giants in the United States. They are all struggling with research failures as they scramble to replace their cash cows, like Pfizer’s multimillion-dollar gamble on a replacement for the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, which failed miserably in clinical trials. Drug companies cut 53,000 jobs last year and 61,000 in 2009, far more than most other sectors, according to the outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
’This is panic time, this is truly panic time for the industry,’ said Kenneth I. Kaitin, director of the Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. ’I don’t think there’s a company out there that doesn’t realize they don’t have enough products in the pipeline or the portfolio, don’t have enough revenue to sustain their research and development.’
Japan blocks Pfizer, Sanofi vaccines. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to review Pfizer’s Prevenar and Sanofi’s ActHIB, both of which are child vaccines. Four children died over a three-day span after being immunized simultaneously with multiple pediatric vaccines. Prevnar alone is a $4 billion drug, according to Bloomberg.
1,040… the number of one-year waivers from the healthcare reform law granted by the Obama administration.
Berwick is done. The Obama administration can “can do the arithmetic” and won’t even try a confirmation hearing for Donald Berwick as CMS administrator because of Republican objections.
Farewell BMI. Hello BAI. The Body Adiposity Index would use height and hip measurements that could gauge obesity without getting someone on a scale.
Electronic health records: What patients want. Patients want to use technology to pick the right hospital, while half of patients want remote health technologies from their insurance companies.
Sad, predictable end at the Heart Attack Grill. A medically themed restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill, which offers triple-bypass burgers and flatliner lard fries from servers dressed as scantily clad waitresses has lost its spokesman. The 575-pound man is dead at age 29.