Pharma Industry News Update: 4 October 2016

Featured Survey Direct-to-Consumer Off-Label Drug Promotion Survey
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Yes, Mylan DID “Misclassify” EpiPen as a Generic, Says Medicaid

After weeks of controversy, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally blamed Mylan Pharmaceuticals for misclassifying EpiPen with the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Under the program, companies must accurately report and pay a rebate on drugs paid for by Medicaid.

The company reported EpiPen as a generic, instead of a brand-name, product. This is a significant distinction, because the classifications are used to determine the size of rebates that companies pay Medicaid. Rebates, which are paid in exchange for having their products covered, are lower for generics.
More here…

For background, read: “Did Mylan ‘Misclassify’ EpiPen as ‘Non-Innovator’ to Ripoff Medicaid & Taxpayers?

Kybella Double Chin TV Ad: Are the BEFORE & AFTER Photos REALLY Unretouched as Claimed?

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent TV ad (“Ancestors”) for Allergan’s Kybella, a new drug approved for the treatment of double chins. The ad claims that double chins may be inherited. To prove the efficacy of Kybella, several screens are devoted to showing BEFORE and AFTER photos as in the screen shot above. These “unretouched photos” of an “Actual KYBELLA patient” clearly show that the double chin is gone.

But are these photos really “unretouched?”

Find out here…

Also read: “Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face

Novo Nordisk and Indy Driver Charlie Kimball: Perhaps the Longest Lasting Celebrity-Pharma Partnership!

Novo first signed on as Kimball’s primary car sponsor in 2011 under the Chip Ganassi Racing team. While details of that deal aren’t public, Bloomberg estimates that the cost of a primary Indy car sponsorship starts at $5 million to $9 million for the side pod, another $1 million to $2 million for the front wind and $300,000-$900,000 for the cockpit and tail.

But the team-up soon expanded beyond paint colors and car logos. Impressed with Kimball’s combination of driving grit and genuine dedication to fans and diabetes awareness, Novo rolled out the “Race With Insulin” education campaign in 2013 [This is incorrect. Pharmaguy blogged about the @racewithinsulin campaign back in 2009. See here. Also, listen to this 2009 interview: “Novo Nordisk’s Race With Insulin Campaign: It’s Not Just About Twitter“]. That same year, Kimball became the first driver with Type 1 diabetes to win a major IndyCar race.

More here…

Also read: “The Day Charlie Kimball, Novo Nordisk, and Me Made Up

The Day Pharma Tchotchkes Died

Back in February, 2009, shortly after the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) imposed a voluntary ban on gifts to physicians (aka “tchotchkes”), I predicted that tchotchkes would become nostalgia items in the future, reminding pharmaceutical sales reps and physicians of the “good old days.”

I was reminded of this prediction by a recent article in MM&M, which claimed:

“These relics of the past have a certain value for those on the hunt. One eBay seller hopes to fetch $20 for a blue pill-shaped Viagra promotional clock that doubles as a business card holder, an item that was once a big weapon in the Pfizer sales rep’s arsenal of freebies.”

I think the Viagra jock strap/boxers would command much much more money on eBay!

In any case, the subtitle of the MM&M article (“The Day the Tchotchkes Died”) inspired me to rewrite the lyrics of “American Pie” as “American Pharma Pie.” I imagine a physician singing my version of the song.
Access the lyrics here…

Meet the 5 kinds of mHealth Users

By surveying 2,000 Americans about their attitudes and behavior regarding the use of mobile technology to manage health, Ketchum’s mHealth Monitor shines a light on emerging opportunities for healthcare and technology companies to better engage with consumers when it comes to mHealth (mobile health tech) offerings.

More here…