Big Drug Companies See Us as Profits — Not People

AARP ADVOCATES | March 13, 2019

article image
Americans continue to pay the highest drug prices in the world while the big drug companies rake in billions. We shouldn’t have to choose between buying medication and buying food for our families. Congress: put people before profits. Stop the greed. Cut drug prices now.

Spotlight

Zosano Pharma

Zosano Pharma (ZSAN) is an emerging CNS company focusing on providing rapid symptom relief to patients, using known therapeutics with well-established safety and efficacy profiles.

OTHER ARTICLES

New Dimensions of Clinical Trial Optimization

Article | April 20, 2021

For much of the past three decades, even as methodologies for clinical trial design have advanced and refined, the idea of the optimized clinical trial has centered on optimal patient samples, target enrollment rates, and generally the most efficient uses of scarce resources in the form of patients. Yet anyone who has had to design and optimize a clinical trial, knows that trial optimization occurs within an ecosystem of choices; a series of choices that stretch from the time it takes to implement a clinical trial and submit clinical data for analysis, to general concerns about the cost and power of a clinical trial. A true clinical trial optimization process would try to unify a number of these choices into a single framework for trial optimization. The complexity of clinical trial optimization comes from the need to align priorities on the one hand, and to understand opportunities on the other. We know that at a very general level, clinical operations specialists benefit from simplicity in clinical trial design, and that commercial teams prefer shorter clinical trials to longer ones. We also know that the statistical design of a clinical trial can influence both simplicity and duration. Yet how many sponsors have their clinical operations and commercial teams, sit with their R&D teams to review various statistically nuanced design options? For many sponsors, the reason this process does not occur as often as it should, is because the nuanced statistical parameters of a clinical trial design are very difficult to communicate to non-statisticians. Yet a trial optimization tool like Solara, equipped with data visualizations and the ability to see tradeoffs intuitively, can overcome this challenge. The real challenge is often convincing the non-statistician that they have a stake in clinical trial design. Cytel recently had a client that thought it needed a sample size re-estimation design, because it had a very strict limit on the number of patients it could enroll. After a few hours of working with Solara, though, a statistician discovered that a much simpler Group Sequential Design would deliver comparable power using about the same number of patients. The gains from the more complex design were minimal from the optimization perspective, when understood as the eco-system of choices. Similarly, most commercial teams pressure their clinical trial designers to have the most accelerated clinical trial imaginable, but as we all know, the longer the clinical trial the more likely there will be a higher number of events that demonstrate the effectiveness of a new medicine. So commercialization teams have a stake in longer clinical trials, even when their rule of thumb is to shorten them. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to communicate the benefits of various statistical designs to multiple stakeholders in a way that makes tradeoffs clear. Aligning on priorities early during the clinical trial design process is essential to selecting the optimal clinical trial. Yet for this statisticians need to be equipped for both a strategic and communicative role in the R&D process.

Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic Brings Hundreds Of U.S. Clinical Trials To A Halt

Article | April 11, 2020

Rene Roach fired off a quick email in late March for an update on a colorectal cancer clinical trial for which she hoped to qualify. Worried about the coronavirus, she asked, almost as an afterthought, whether the study had been put on hold because of the pandemic.The answer crushed her: It had been. "That's when COVID-19 shut down everything," says Roach, 50, of Germantown, Md. Roach assumed that there would be workarounds for patients like her, who have stage IV cancer. These patients often depend on clinical trials as their best chance to knock cancer out when other therapies have failed. For now, she's being treated with traditional chemotherapy, but she was counting on the drug cocktail from the clinical trial. She figures if chemo was going to rid her body of cancer for good, it would have done so already.

Read More

How AI and Big Data Will Disrupt Pharma’s Regulatory Compliance Standards

Article | March 4, 2020

The industry as we know it is changing. Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies across the globe are experiencing more pressure than ever to keep up with increased regulatory standards while moving at a pace that requires them to innovate in order to remain competitive. With more real-time automation and the steady increase in AI and Big Data sweeping the landscape, what used to be a slow-to-change and risk-averse industry is now expected to see a significant shift towards newer technology that focus on heightened regulatory standards. Here’s how your company can get ahead of what industry experts are calling, Pharma

Read More

Clinical Supply Availability & Speed to Study Start-Up

Article | March 26, 2020

If you’re part of a clinical study team racing a new product to commercialization, you likely live by these two simple rules: time is money, and the first one to market wins. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. That ticking clock is background noise to the responsibilities of regulations, study protocols, supply chains, and patient recruitment — all the details that must be worked out before a study can even begin. The pressure is always there. The longer it takes for a study to start, the longer it takes to complete.

Read More

Spotlight

Zosano Pharma

Zosano Pharma (ZSAN) is an emerging CNS company focusing on providing rapid symptom relief to patients, using known therapeutics with well-established safety and efficacy profiles.

Events