Putting the “FDA Stamp” on Web-based Communication

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The proliferation of online health information and media vehicles such as blogs and social-networking sites create a new problem for the consumer—how to judge the reliability of such information. To address that problem, the US Food and Drug Administration is holding hearings this week, Nov. 12–13, in Washington DC, regarding the promotion of FDA-regulated medical products using the Internet and social-media tools. The hearings, which will include participation from pharmaceutical trade associations, drug companies, consumer groups, and media representatives, is the first step in a public dialogue that FDA is having as it evaluates how the statutory provisions, regulations, and policies concerning advertising and promotional labeling should be applied to product-related information on the Internet and newer media technologies. Read more »

Strutting and Fretting about Healthcare Reform

Erik Greb PharmTech editorAfter much ado, the US House of Representatives passed a healthcare-reform bill this weekend. Drugmakers and commentators are understandably eager to parse the bill to find out what it would mean for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. So what’s the verdict? Read more »

Repairing the Engine of Drug Innovation

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor

In a speech last week to the City Club of San Diego, John Lechleiter, chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly, offered very candid remarks about the state of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, saying that the engine of biopharmaceutical innovation is “broken.” His comments may be a bitter pill to swallow in light of escalating investment in research and development (R&D), but his frankness may just be the remedy the industry needs to reinvent itself. Read more »

PhRMA and BIO Weigh in on Healthcare Reform

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor Following President Barak Obama’s address on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress this week, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries reiterated their overall support for healthcare reform. Although not commenting in detail on specific measures offered by the President or Congressional proposals, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries will be important players in the upcoming weeks and months as the final proposals for healthcare reform materialize. Read more »

The Changing Face of PhRMA

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) announced this week that it is creating a new committee of its board of directors dedicated to small biopharmaceutical companies. The committee will be composed of full and research associate members. In a separate item, late last month, Roche confirmed that it was leaving PhRMA to join the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the US-based trade group representing the biotechnology industry, in the wake of Roche’s recent acquisition of Genentech. Taken on one level, these moves simply reflect an organizational change by a well-established association to better serve and broaden its membership and the strategic shift of one member company. On another level, however, these moves reveal broader dynamics shaping the focus of the pharmaceutical industry. Read more »

Chutes, Ladders, and Healthcare Reform

Erik Greb PharmTech editorCongress has taken up the Obama administration’s goal of making healthcare more affordable by introducing various strategies for reducing the cost of prescription drugs. But the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) have resisted several of Congress’s initiatives, and cost control has been elusive so far. Read more »

Pharma Marketers May Have to Get More Creative

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorWe’ve all seen trademarked skeletons, wall charts, calendars, paperweights, and supplies in doctors’ offices. And it’s blatantly clear that these items came from pharmaceutical companies—their names are written all over them. But soon, those long waits in the examining room before the doctor comes in may be quite boring because there won’t be much to look at. Read more »

The AIDS Vaccine Challenge

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorLast month, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a challenge to HIV/AIDS scientists: design an AIDS-fighting protein to win $150,000. The winning protein design and sample will advance HIV vaccine development, and the winning researchers could receive a bonus of up to $1 million and/or the chance to pursue their research further with help from IAVI. Read more »

Sunshine in 2009

Erik Greb PharmTech editorNow is the time when the ambitious among us decide how we’re going to improve ourselves during the new year. The pharmaceutical industry is starting 2009 with an effort to reassure the public that its interactions with doctors are on the up and up. Read more »

PhRMA Votes for Itself

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThe 2008 election is only a week away, and much of the public discussion focuses on the presidential race between Obama and McCain. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that voters will also choose their US senators and representatives. This point is not lost on the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Read more »

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