In response to the increasing cost of medical journals, the Harvard University
In 1998, Abbott Laboratories launched the TriCor cholesterol pill, which the drugmaker turned into a money-making machine thanks to an aggressive patent strategy involving numerous reformulations. Basically, Abbott retired one version of TriCor and replaced it with a modified version, which prevented generic substitution. The approach succeeded, even though a large study found the pill had little effect on cardiovascular outcomes.
There may have been more new drugs launched last year than at anytime in the past decade, but a preoccupation with costs - notably, among senior citizens and wider use of generics - meant that US spending on prescription drugs last year rose just 0.5 percent, on a real per capita basis, to $320 billion, according to the latest annual report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
For the past two years, US Senator Chuck Grassley has pressed all 50 states to provide data on doctors who write huge numbers of prescriptions for specific drugs that are paid for by Medicaid programs. Why? There were reports indicating certain meds - widely used antipsychotics and the OxyContin painkiller - have sometimes been prescribed at unusually high rates.
As publication of the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known asDSM-5, approaches in May 2013, the so-called bible of psychiatrists is generating increasing scrutiny. The reason, of course, is that classification of various illnesses can help psychiatrists determine how to pursue treatment, which can involve prescribing medications that can ring registers for drugmakers.
Do you remember Sam Waksal? How could you forget? Sam became notorious for his role in the insider trading scandal involving ImClone Systems that sent his friend, the ubiquitous Martha Stewart, to jail. Sam also did some time, but he’s been out a few years now and is an investor in Kadmon Pharmaceuticals (seehere and here). Always inventive, he has a new idea now - pay-for-response medicines.