Pharma Industry News Update: 7 July 2017
To Influence Cancer Treatment “Gray Zone”
92% of Experts Speaking at FDA Cancer Drug Panels Are Paid by Pharma
[From www.statnews.com] A new analysis finds that many experts who spoke before the FDA committee that reviews cancer drugs held financial conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry.
Specifically, the analysis identified 38 experts and found that 92 percent – or 35 of them – had received industry payments. And 47 percent – or 18 experts – had documented payments from the specific drug makers that were hoping to win an FDA approval. Moreover, there were significant correlations found between the number of published articles, total citations and industry payments
“As you go into the rarified quarters of academic oncology, you see experts whose influence is tremendous,” said Dr. Vinay Prasad, an assistant professor of medicine at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, who recently co-authored a separate analysis that found nearly 80 percent of U.S. hematologist-oncologists who use Twitter have financial conflicts of interest.
“But so many oncology decisions are made in a gray zone, not black-and-white data, and these are the people in a position to determine shades of gray area. And this is why it’s so problematic that these people are conflicted. An expert may be the only person in the room at an FDA meeting who has treated 5,000 lung patients. And all of us follow their lead.”
- This beats previous estimates of 33%: #Pharma ‘Highjacks’ Public Comments at FDA Advisory Meetings
Beyond KOL Marketing
Tapping Into Digital Opinion Influencers
[From PharmExec.com] Pharma firms have long recognized the power of key opinion leaders (KOLs) in driving influence through traditional channels: journals, speaking events and word of mouth. The problem, however, is that healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients are acquiring information about disease and treatment in the online world – and many KOLs are not “digital opinion influencers,” or DOIs, aka “digital opinion leaders,” or DOLs. This creates an opportunity – strategic DOI identification, outreach and management – for brand, communications and medical teams that is often overlooked or poorly addressed.
Roche Acquires mySugr
One Small Sweet Step for Pharma, One Giant Leap for Apps
[From PharmExec.com] Roche has taken its worldwide collaboration with mySugr to the next level by acquiring the Austrian digital health business. The company has set itself apart from others by trying to balance fun graphics with the fundamental information needed for the arduous task of managing a chronic condition with the frank goal “to make diabetes suck less.”
The acquisition fits into a growing trend of pharma and medical device companies adding services supporting patient engagement both to quantify the effectiveness of their drugs and devices and to gain additional insight from its customer base.
Comments from LinkedIn Friends
A.R.J. (Rob) Halkes, principal consultant at Health Business Consult, said: “A great leap forward for Roche, a great opportunity for MySugr, a great potential for diabetes patients and a lot to learn for all concerned. Maybe a suggestion of places/sites where there is lot of experience with combined support for patients might help for a diabetes company like Roche and a diabetes-patient driven app company like MySugr.”