Big Pharma Companies Face Price-Fixing Charges in Court

STEVE WILLIAMS | December 27, 2016

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Some of Big Pharma’s major players, including Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., are being sued by 20 U.S. states over claims that those firms have colluded to hike generic drug prices. Filed in Connecticut court on December 15, the suit alleges that drug firms have knowingly used informal talks to agree on price points and divide up the market…

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Enanta Pharmaceuticals

Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development-focused biotechnology company that uses its robust chemistry-driven approach and drug discovery capabilities to create small molecule drugs for viral infections and liver diseases. Enanta’s research and development efforts are currently focused on the following disease targets: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)/ primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Enanta has discovered novel protease inhibitors for use against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These protease inhibitors, developed through Enanta’s collaboration with AbbVie, include paritaprevir, currently marketed in AbbVie’s HCV regimens, and glecaprevir (ABT-493), Enanta’s second protease inhibitor product, which AbbVie is developing as part of its investigational HCV regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P) now in registration in the U.S., the E.U. and Japan.

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3 Big Pharma Stocks Plunging the Most During the Coronavirus Stock Market Crash: Are They Buys?

Article | March 26, 2020

Big pharma stocks have been clobbered during the coronavirus-caused stock market crash. You can count the number of drugmakers with market caps of $25 billion or more whose shares haven't dropped by double-digit percentages on one hand -- and have several fingers left over. Three big pharma stocks have plunged the most: AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). But are these stocks smart picks to buy right now?

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS

New Dimensions of Clinical Trial Optimization

Article | March 26, 2020

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.

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WALGREEN’S IN HOT WATER OVER PHONY PHARMACIST

Article | March 26, 2020

The drugstore chain agreed to pay $7.5 million in fines after an unlicensed pharmacist at several San Francisco Bay locations illegally filled more than 700,000 prescriptions over a ten-year period. According to California prosecutors, Kim Thien Le stole license numbers from other pharmacists to fill prescriptions for Fentanyl, morphine, and other painkillers. Le pleaded guilty to multiple felony impersonation counts. Walgreen’s agreed to the settlement to avoid being charged with consumer fraud in Alameda and Santa Anna Counties. Prosecutors alleged that Walgreen’s failed to verify Le’s license and did not conduct a thorough background check. The company insisted it has taken remedial measures.

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Tips for Managing Chronic Pain Beyond Prescription Painkillers

Article | March 26, 2020

Painkillers like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin, have been prescribed by primary physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other healthcare providers to patients suffering from varying levels of pain. Though these medications have proven to be an effective source of pain relief, they have also proven to be highly addictive. In fact, it has even been reported that there are more cases of a drug overdose and deaths from prescription painkillers than heroin or cocaine. While there are a number of factors that play into this opioid epidemic, educating doctors and patients on alternative solutions to managing chronic pain is a great place to start combatting this nationwide crisis.

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Spotlight

Enanta Pharmaceuticals

Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development-focused biotechnology company that uses its robust chemistry-driven approach and drug discovery capabilities to create small molecule drugs for viral infections and liver diseases. Enanta’s research and development efforts are currently focused on the following disease targets: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)/ primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Enanta has discovered novel protease inhibitors for use against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These protease inhibitors, developed through Enanta’s collaboration with AbbVie, include paritaprevir, currently marketed in AbbVie’s HCV regimens, and glecaprevir (ABT-493), Enanta’s second protease inhibitor product, which AbbVie is developing as part of its investigational HCV regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P) now in registration in the U.S., the E.U. and Japan.

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