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Convergence of Health and Pharma
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Article | March 20, 2020
Global clinical guidelines have shifted the industry toward risk-based approaches for the planning and execution of clinical trials. The ICH’s guidelines for Good Clinical Practice state that sponsors should evaluate identified risks against existing risk controls by considering “the likelihood of errors occurring, the extent to which such errors would be detectable, and the impact of such errors on human subject protection and reliability of trial results” (ICH E6 R2).
The president and some of his close advisors — desperate for a COVID-19 cure — are asking “What do you have to lose?” by taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a strong medication never adequately tested for efficacy or safety in COVID-19 patients. The correct answer to the president’s question, which he doesn’t seem to want to hear, is that we have our lives to lose. The president acknowledges “I’m not a doctor” but this raises the question “What do doctors know about the drug recommended by the president? Most doctors are aware that HCQ can be effective for patients with malaria, arthritis or lupus. If they were to follow the president’s suggestion and prescribe it for COVID-19 patients, they would also like to know that it will benefit some of those patients, at least.
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.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are constantly working to develop new and improved medications. Join us as we explore the non-specialty drugs you should be watching in 2020. If you missed last week’s article about the most important upcoming specialty drugs, be sure to check it out here. Approximately 40 new medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) every year.1 (Please note: If you’re curious about what it takes to develop a drug and bring it to market, check out our previous article). Why should you care about these new medications? Because they can affect both your organization’s pharmacy spend and your members’ cost share. For non-specialty drugs, we will focus on medications that may come to market this year, including ones that are currently being reviewed by the FDA, or that are in the last clinical trial (Phase III) stage.
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