Monday, December 22, 2014

Daniel Hoffman

SEPTA's suit against Gilead raises bigger questions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:30 AM
Last week the regional transportation authority in this area, SEPTA, filed suit against pharmaceutical company Gilead for its “exorbitant pricing” of Sovaldi, a product to treat hepatitis C. SEPTA is a self-funded organization that covers the health benefits for its employees and their... Read more

Vitriolic or naive: Pharma as film noir

Monday, December 8, 2014, 12:17 PM
What a difference a day makes. Last week's posting presented some speculation as to why the board at Sanofi might have fired CEO Chris Viehbacher. The core argument was that the board may have dismissed Viehbacher for committing the unpardonable sin of trying to break pharma’s cartel by agreeing... Read more

Explanations for firing Chris Viehbacher look flimsy

Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 9:16 AM
As unexpected activities at work preempted regular postings during the past several weeks, this piece will provide a catch-up on a prominent story that animated the pharmaceutical industry in October and November. The board of French-based Sanofi, the world's fifth largest pharma (based on sales)... Read more

Where health care is headed

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 2:23 PM
The trend lines in U.S. health care keep getting clearer. Employers are shifting larger percentages of the coverage costs to their employees (see here). At the same time, private insurers try to evade the Affordable Care Act's prohibition against excluding people with serious or pre-existing conditions... Read more

Two myths of patient recruitment

Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 1:09 PM
An invitation recently arrived by email to attend a podcast purporting to show how promoting clinical studies in social media can seriously boost patient recruitment. The podcasts's underlying premise constitutes yet another contribution to the radically exaggerated, even misleading notion that IT... Read more

Is Novartis' LCZ696 "revolutionary" or just a marginal improvement?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 1:02 PM
Over the Labor Day weekend, Novartis presented the results of a trial for its cardiovascular compound, LSC696, at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Reactions to those results were the number one topic on the pharma blogosphere for several days afterward. Prior... Read more

Where will pharma land when US healthcare comes apart?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11:18 AM
The Affordable Care Act has now successfully withstood the slanders and subversions of the reactionary-right to become a permanent part of the American health care system. At the same time, recognition seems to be growing that it will do little if anything to correct the system's fundamental problem... Read more

Pharma's drug development ignores narrowing formularies

Monday, August 18, 2014, 5:30 AM
For more than 50 years the me-too element of pharma was an integral part of its business model. The process involves a company developing and launching a compound that produces almost exactly the same clinical results as other products already available in that therapeutic class. In itself this me-too... Read more

Controlling drug cost, part deux

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:13 AM
In this space a couple of weeks ago, we made the point that restrictive formularies represent a useful approach to controlling drug prices. It was especially instructive to then see an article written by two researchers from CVS/Caremark in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that... Read more

Restrictive formularies: The path to more affordable drug prices

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 11:49 AM
At the end of June the New York Times examined how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), hope to force price competition among pharmaceutical companies. PBMs act as agents for payers — private insurers and employers — to negotiate drug purchasing contracts and manage formularies. The plan... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Dual Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist
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