Upfront

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PharmaVOICE Staff

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Allergan Encourages Those with Migraine to Share Experiences Through Art

Allergan has unveiled Frames of Mind, an interactive campaign to promote awareness of the impact that migraine can have on patients’ everyday lives. People living with migraine are encouraged to create art submissions that visually depict how the various symptoms affect them both physically and emotionally. An estimated 36 million Americans are living with migraine, a chronic disorder with episodic attacks that is characterized by an extremely disabling collection of neurological symptoms.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation Launches QuickFire Challenge

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has launched the newest QuickFire Challenge: Advancing the Safe Use of Healthcare Products. The challenge seeks to identify entrepreneurs, academics, scientists, engineers, or startup companies that are advancing potentially game-changing, early-stage, innovative solutions to advance safety in healthcare products that help inform patients and consumers, simulate surgical procedures, and ensure proper storage and use of prescription, over-the-counter, and cosmetic products.

Prescription medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure about 1.3 million people each year. The challenge aims to improve safety in healthcare through improving the provision of balanced and factual information — and development of solutions — to ensure safety across the spectrum of medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer products.

The challenge will award up to a $200,000 grant, entrance to a Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS facility, and/or mentoring from Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Bayer on Target to Provide 1 Million Hands-On Science Experiences

Bayer has surpassed the halfway mark of its five-year commitment aimed at inspiring the next generation of innovators.

The company launched the program in 2015, with the goal of providing 1 million hands-on science experiences to children in the United States by the year 2020. Bayer has provided 555,634 engaging science experiences to U.S. students.

The goal was timed to the 20th anniversary of Bayer’s STEM initiative, Making Science Make Sense (MSMS), which advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based learning, employee volunteerism, community partnerships, and public education, was instrumental in helping the company reach the halfway mark.

Site Payments and Patient Reimbursements Impact Clinical Research

Manual payment processes for clinical sites can take time away from patient care and shift focus away from research, according to a new survey by Greenphire and the Society for Clinical Research Sites.

Key findings:
44% of sites employ personnel involved in accounting who also have other study-related duties
63% of sites prefer electronic payments
75% of sites reported that reimbursement timelines have an impact on their ability to pay stipends and reimbursements to patients
84% of sites prefer payment in 30 days or less

“Sites are looking to streamline the way payments are processed and received,” says Christine Pierre, president of SCRS. “These survey findings demonstrate that sites, both in the United States and abroad, want to find new ways to cut down on administrative burdens and focus on research.”

AbbVie Launches Endometriosis Awareness Campaign

AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, has engaged actress, dancer, and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Julianne Hough to help raise awareness about endometriosis through a campaign called Get in the Know about ME in EndoMEtriosis. The campaign is dedicated to inspiring women to learn about and understand endometriosis.

PPD Heroes Advocate for Clinical Research to Improve Patient Health

Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) has launched its 2017 educational campaign to raise awareness about the life-changing impact of clinical research, featuring a team of PPD Heroes who share their personal stories to inspire hope.

PPD Heroes are extraordinary people who have overcome illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research. They help raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials by both patients and physicians alike to advance the development of next-generation therapies.

PhRMA Board of Directors Establishes New Membership Criteria

The board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has approved new criteria for membership. The board has voted to eliminate the “associate” category of membership and to require companies to meet the following to be eligible to join the association:
A three-year average global R&D to global sales ratio of 10% or greater; and
A three-year average global R&D spending of at least $200 million per year.

Because the associate category of membership has been eliminated those 15 companies are no longer members, though they have the option of applying for full membership if they are eligible. In addition, seven existing full member companies are no longer eligible for membership because they do not meet the new criteria. These numbers are based on membership as of Jan. 1, 2017. Companies can reapply for membership as they meet the new criteria.

“We believe our association is best positioned to represent companies that are swinging for the fences and making the long-term investments needed to tackle the biggest challenges facing patients,” says Stephen Ubl, president and CEO, PhRMA.

U.S. Drug Spending Growth Increases in 2016

Drug spending grew 4.8% in 2016 to $323 billion, less than half the rate of the previous two years, after adjusting for off-invoice discounts and rebates, according to a QuintilesIMS Institute Study. The surge of innovative medicine introductions paused in 2016, with fewer than half as many new drugs launched than in 2014 and 2015. While the total use of medicines continued to climb — with total prescriptions dispensed reaching 6.1 billion, up 3.3% over 2015 levels — the spike in new patients being treated for hepatitis C ebbed, which contributed to the decline in spend.

“After a year of heated discussion about the cost and affordability of drugs, the reality is that after adjusting for population and economic growth, total spending on all medicines increased just 1.1% annually over the past decade,” says Murray Aitken, senior VP and executive director of the QuintilesIMS Institute.

Moderating price increases for branded products, and the larger impact of patent expiries, will drive net growth in total U.S. spending of 2% to 5% through 2021, reaching $375 billion to $405 billion. Lower spending on brands following the loss of patent protection is forecast to total $140 billion, including the impact of biosimilar competition, through 2021.(PV)

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INC Research and inVentiv Health to Merge

Early in May, INC Research and inVentiv Health announced an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction, creating a global biopharmaceutical solutions organization with combined net revenue of more than $3.2 billion. The combined company will be the second largest biopharmaceutical outsourcing provider, one of the top three CROs, and the largest contract commercial organization by net revenue.

Based upon the closing price common stock on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, the transaction values inVentiv at an enterprise value of about $4.6 billion, and the combined company at an enterprise value of about $7.4 billion.

Alistair Macdonald, CEO of INC Research, says: “Customers are increasingly seeking simultaneous approvals and product launches in multiple markets worldwide. Through this strategic combination we are bringing together two of the most innovative and respected players in the field to create a leading global biopharma solutions organization with a full suite of clinical and commercial solutions.”

Michael Bell, CEO of inVentiv Health, says: “As biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes face increasingly complex challenges to bring products to market, they are seeking comprehensive outsourced solutions across the clinical and commercial spectrum. The new company is purpose-built to address market realities where clinical and commercial must work together, sharing expertise, data and insights, to improve client performance.”

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Healthcare Veteran Publishes Branding Book

Vince Parry, a 35-year healthcare industry veteran, has published a book to showcase the health and wellness branding industry from an insider’s perspective. Mr. Parry is president and chief branding officer of Parry Branding Group, a full-service brand identity firm for the health and wellness market.

Identity Crisis: Healthcare Branding’s Hidden Problems and Proven Strategies to Solve Them began as part of a curriculum Mr.
Parry teaches. It explores the ways in which illness comes to define people’s identities — how it changes who they become in their own minds and how such an identity crisis drives brand choice for healthcare brands.

The book also look at how the consumer-goods branding model is inadequate in positioning and marketing healthcare brands, and it uses actual case examples taken from Parry’s long and illustrious career.

The book is available as a paperback and ebook formats and is now available at online book retailers.
Editor’s Note: Vince Parry was named a PharmaVOICE 100 honoree in 2010.

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Case Studies:
Implementing a Study Design Change Late in a Trial for Breast Cancer Indication
Provided by: PAREXEL

ePublications:
HBAdvantage — Leadership in Action
Provided by: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

White Papers:
Automated Site Grant Payment Solutions
Provided by: Greenphire

Driving Greater Access to Healthcare Professionals and Increasing Brand Performance
Provided by: TrialCard

Podcasts:
Rescue Studies:  Key Considerations for Getting Your Study Back on Track
Sponsored by: PAREXEL

Virtual Engagement — A Must-have Component of Any Pharmaceutical Sales Strategy
Sponsored by: TrialCard

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