Drug Companies Collaborate to Take on the Opioid Crisis

BETSY DAVIS | November 8, 2017

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The opioid crisis in the US is now responsible for taking more American lives each year than car crashes. The pharmaceutical industry has come under fire for having a role in the epidemic, with some companies being accused of deliberately downplaying the addictive dangers of opioids.

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Medacs Healthcare

Medacs Healthcare is a leading staffing and services company providing recruitment expertise and managed healthcare solutions to the public and private sector. 2016 sees us celebrating more than 25 years of healthcare expertise; during which we’ve evolved our service range to meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare market and developing innovative solutions for our customers.

OTHER ARTICLES

How pharma can continue engaging HCPs in a world gripped by COVID-19

Article | April 10, 2020

Medscape is the leading source of clinical news, health information, and point-of-care tools for healthcare professionals. Medscape offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools. Medscape Education (medscape.org) is the leading destination for continuous professional development, consisting of more than 30 specialty-focused destinations offering thousands of free CME and CE courses and other educational programmes for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Both Medscape and Medscape Education are part of WebMD Health Corp., an Internet Brands company. Face-to-face interactions between pharma and physicians have essentially ceased overnight during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean HCPs have stopped looking for new medical information.

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Do Clinical Trial Delays Mean Trouble for Pharmaceutical Stocks?

Article | April 10, 2020

Pharmaceutical stocks have been somewhat of a safe haven for investors as the coronavirus outbreak spread from China to the rest of the world. But as the pandemic deepened, now resulting in more than 782,000 cases worldwide, even these "safer" companies are beginning to feel the effects. The U.S. is now the coronavirus epicenter, with the most cases -- more than 161,000 as of today. Initial concerns for drugmakers had to do with the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, which often come from China. The worry was that pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be able to produce enough of their drugs for patients.

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Top Specialty Pharmacy Therapy Areas

Article | April 10, 2020

Accelerated by advancements in cancer treatments and a growing emphasis on personalized and precision medicine, specialty pharmacy represents a rapidly growing sector within the healthcare industry. In fact, the market is projected to grow to $500 billion by the end of this year—up from $200 billion in total U.S. specialty drug spending in 2017. Industry growth of this magnitude creates challenges for those looking to understand and penetrate the market. It can be difficult, after all, to maintain updated information about high-priority drug therapy areas or facility affiliations in a market that’s constantly changing.

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS

New Dimensions of Clinical Trial Optimization

Article | April 10, 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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Spotlight

Medacs Healthcare

Medacs Healthcare is a leading staffing and services company providing recruitment expertise and managed healthcare solutions to the public and private sector. 2016 sees us celebrating more than 25 years of healthcare expertise; during which we’ve evolved our service range to meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare market and developing innovative solutions for our customers.

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