Patient Assistance Programs Under Gov’t Scrutiny, But Drugmakers’ Responses Are Mixed
Other pharmaceutical coverage includes reports about the high hopes for -- and lack of supporting data about -- skin cancer immunotherapy as well as a move by the American Medical Association to consider supporting the personal importation of medicines from Canada.
Despite Scrutiny Of Patient Assistance Programs By The Feds, Pharma Appears Unprepared
As the federal government scrutinizes various programs that provide some form of assistance to patients, drug makers are responding inconsistently to the legal hazards, according to a new survey. Approximately one-third of the companies queried say they have altered procedures for funding independent charities that provide financial assistance to patients, but very few are regularly monitoring or auditing the activities of their patient services teams. And 25 percent of drug makers report that they provide patient services, such as copay cards, to people using their medicines for unapproved uses. (Silverman, 11/6)
Skin Cancer Immunotherapy Could Have Potential But Don't Hang Hopes On New Data
OncoSec Medical (ONCS), a biotechnology company focused on combination immunotherapies, offered anecdotal evidence last year suggesting its novel approach might help some skin cancer patients who do not benefit from the currently approved class of drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. What OncoSec lacked was data from a clinical trial to hang its hopes on. On Tuesday, the company tried to remedy that scientific shortcoming, but the newly released sliver of data on the drug, called Tavo, are frustratingly early and hard to interpret. (Feuerstein, 11/6)
AMA Delegates To Weigh A Plan For Personal Importation Of Drugs From Canada
The nation’s largest group of physicians is wading into the debate over the cost of prescription drugs with a proposal to allow Americans to purchase medicines from Canada, but not by going online. At its semi-annual policy meeting that begins this coming weekend, the American Medical Association will consider a motion to endorse medicines that are obtained in person from licensed brick-and-mortar Canadian pharmacies, but only if there are limits on quantities and product safety assurances are in place. (Silverman, 11/6)