Morning Read: Pfizer hopes recipe app will fight flight to generic Lipitor

Pfizer has launched an app that offers recipes from EatingWell magazine and a copy of the Lipitor $4 co-pay card as a last-ditch effort to keep people from switching to the generic version of the cholesterol drug that will be available next week. Health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn is not optimistic that this initial foray into a prescription drug-affiliated app will work.

Analysts at Ernst & Young and France Biotech say that companies in that sector have seen a 40% drop in funding from new venture cash, IPOs and refinancings from 2010 to 2011. The number of new biotechs created in the country dropped to only 24 in 2011, and there were 25 closures, compared to 5 the year before.

 A study of a large group of managed-care enrollees starting oral diabetes treatment found that 35% of patients did not receive the recommended first-line drug. Study co-author Dr. Niteesh K. Choudhry said that following standard guidelines for treating Type 2 diabetes could mean significant cost savings for patients, payers, and the entire healthcare system.

Halo Theraputics is using approach for its latest round of $1.1 million in funding: traditional grants, plus notes that offer a fixed return to the 12 nonprofits based on specific development milestones. The foundations are all focused on finding a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a rare but debilitating muscle disease that leads to early death in young boys. Halo’s drug candidate uses an herb from Chinese medicine.


PCORI has announced five funding opportunities worth $96 million, including: assessment of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options; improving healthcare systems; communication and dissemination; addressing disparities; and accelerating patient-centered and methodological research. Applications will be evaluated for alignment with eight PCORI review criteria based on PCORI’s authorizing legislation.

[Image from flickr user The.Comedian]

Veronica Combs

I was the editor in chief at I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012. More posts by Author

1 comment