Drugmakers keep prices high while PBMs shift business model | AZ, Seres to partner on microbiome cancer immunotherapy study | Kiosks combine telemedicine, diagnosis, minipharmacy
March 15, 2019
Specialty Pharmacy SmartBrief
News for the specialty pharmacy industry
Leading News
Drugmakers keep prices high while PBMs shift business model
Pharmacy benefit managers are passing along a growing proportion of rebates to clients and relying more on spread pricing and other fees for revenue, but drugmakers are not reducing list prices.
Axios (3/15) 
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Specialty Pharmacy Update
AZ, Seres to partner on microbiome cancer immunotherapy study
AstraZeneca and Seres Therapeutics have agreed to a three-year research collaboration to study Seres' SER-401 in combination with AZ's cancer drugs for microbiome therapeutics. Under the deal, AZ will fund research activities related to the partnership, and Seres will receive $20 million over two years.
PharmaTimes online (UK) (3/13) 
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Kiosks combine telemedicine, diagnosis, minipharmacy
OnMed has developed a telemedicine kiosk where patients can consult with a physician, get a diagnosis and receive some prescription medications through a robotic minipharmacy. CEO Austin White said comprehensive physician-patient telemedicine encounters sometimes need to go beyond a phone call, requiring live interaction, diagnostic tools and the ability to dispense treatments.
FierceBiotech (3/12) 
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Generic version of Janumet XR receives tentative approval
Zydus Cadila's sitagliptin and metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets, a generic version of the anti-diabetes drug Janumet XR, has been tentatively approved by the FDA. The drug will be released in three strengths -- 50 mg/500 mg, 50 mg/1,000 mg and 100 mg/1,000 mg.
The Hindu Business Line (India)/Press Trust of India (3/14) 
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Legislation & Regulation
FDA won't require 4-letter suffixes for older biologics' proper names
The FDA has scrapped four-letter suffixes for biological products that are already approved or licensed. The agency had proposed adding a unique four-letter suffix to the proper names, but drugmakers expressed it could lead to confusion for patients.
FDAnews (3/14) 
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FDA to review Adamis' injectable opioid overdose therapy
The FDA has accepted for review Adamis Pharmaceuticals' new drug application for a higher dose of injectable naloxone for the treatment of patients who have overdosed on opioids.
Seeking Alpha (3/14) 
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FDA releases draft guidance on eligibility criteria for cancer trials
New FDA draft guidance suggests the inclusion of patients with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in cancer clinical trials based on predetermined conditions. The guidelines are being revised because too tightly defined criteria deter patient recruitment, which affects all other factors of a drug testing trial, including publication of data.
MedCity News (3/12) 
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Clinical & Research News
Antenatal betamethasone may lower costs in late preterm births
A study in JAMA Pediatrics showed that women at high risk for late preterm delivery who received antenatal betamethasone had a total mean cost, along with their babies, of $4,681, compared with a mean total cost of $5,379 among mother-infant pairs who received placebo. The findings also showed a lower rate of short-term neonatal respiratory complications among those in the betamethasone group.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (3/13) 
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Study: C-peptide testing important after diabetes diagnosis
UK researchers recruited 757 patients with type 1 diabetes duration of at least three years and found that 13 of 14 of those whose C-peptide levels greater than 900 pmol/L were reclassified as having type 2 diabetes, while other patients at varying C-peptide levels were reclassified as having different genetic types of diabetes. The findings, presented at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference, also showed that some patients with diabetic ketoacidosis actually had type 2 diabetes.
Medscape (free registration) (3/13) 
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We speak of educating our children. Do we know that our children also educate us?
Lydia Sigourney,

March is Women's History Month

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