To say ‘transparency is the word of the year’ would be fairly accurate.
To say ‘transparency is the word of the year’ would be fairly accurate. Whether it’s the AllTrials campaign pushing for data to be made freely available for all clinical trials, leaked memos or maybe business practices in the emerging markets, events of the past year will stay with us, I suspect, for years to come yet. With that in mind, my first three choices for my favourite market access posts should come as no surprise.
Transparency aside, great strides have been made in growth market strategy throughout the past year, and the Affordable Care Act is now in full force in the United States, causing the industry to revaluate reimbursement strategy in one of the most established healthcare regions in the world. So let’s dive straight in with…
The summer heat was nothing compared to the heat coming down on the industry from the media earlier this year, as a leaked memo from EFPIA Direct General, Richard Bergström, found its way into the hands of the mainstream press. The story, which originally ran in The Guardian newspaper in the UK, purported that the memo was a secret industry plan to mobilize patient groups to lobby against data transparency.
This didn’t sit well with us at eyeforpharma, working both with the industry and with patient groups, we knew that the idea of legions of patient minions working to do their pharmaceutical overlord’s bidding was quite ludicrous, so naturally I spoke to Richard to clarify exactly what was in that memo, what the intention was and address how the original story had overlooked or ignored key facts in order to juice up the non-story.
Was I disappointed that after the initial furore, the mainstream press neglected to run with any clarifications? Not really, after all an article explaining the intricacies of corporate war metaphor is not very exciting, it did at least clear the air though and set the story straight. Click the link above for more.
…or Transparency #2. The aforementioned memo in our previous entry was of course only one facet of a much larger story. Patients, doctors and now most pharmaceutical companies would like to see a greater level of transparency and access to clinical data. Such transparency is beneficial to all: patients get greater piece of mind, physicians can make more informed decisions and pharmaceutical companies can be seen to be openly supporting both parties in their R&D efforts.
As such, the memo was just a precursor to the release of a joint working document between EFPIA and PhRMA, outlining transparency guidelines for association members. Here, exclusively, Richard Bergström speaks to us about this document, its remit and reach and his hopes for a more open and accessible industry in the future.
The next story in my list comes off of the back of easily the largest controversy to hit the industry this year – the bribery and corruption scandal in China. I’d like to note that this story is still on-going, numerous arrests have been made since the news broke that pharmaceutical reps had been offering cash, gifts and even sexual favours to practicing physicians in order to sell drugs.
In our story, David Howell examines the customs and practices that contributed towards this malpractice and asks ‘rightly or wrongly, is corruption simply the cost of doing business?’
Industry reputation may have taken a hit due to events in the East; however emerging markets continue to be an attractive proposition. Latin America as a region and Mexico in particular, continue to garner attention from the outside world, in no small part due to the government’s willingness to do business in an attempt to improve the quality of life for Mexican nationals.
Speaking exclusively to eyeforpharma; Dr. Marlene Llopiz-Aviles, President of the Association of Medical Specialists in the Pharmaceutical Industry (AMEIFAC), Secretary-General of the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians (IFAPP) and Chairperson for the Mexican Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Physicians (ACRP) about how to approach the region and how to work within governmental frameworks.
Emerging (growth) markets continue to be a source of fascination and frustration for the pharmaceutical industry. On the one hand, these growing economies are keen to improve the lives of their increasingly wealthy civilian population, which suggests a promise of huge profit while on the other hand, governments are reluctant to accept the steep price for healthcare that western nations face. This has resulted in years of false starts and anticlimaxes. Add to this our unhealthy obsession with BRIC and the result is that the industry continues to have little luck with the rest of the world’s burgeoning markets.
In a first attempt to help remedy this, we produced a white paper which ignored BRIC entirely, opting instead to focus on a handpicked selection of countries which we’ve dubbed ‘the Second Tier’. Why these countries? In sparse number of studies that have been done thus far, these five names continually appear at the top of the list: Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Ukraine and Pakistan. Find out more about each by downloading the free white paper in the link above.
I’ve a couple of things to share with you about our payers paper, released earlier this year. Firstly, despite the fact that there are one or two other papers available out there, as far as I’m aware ours is the only one with such a volume of first-hand payer input – which is something I’m particularly proud of. Secondly, this paper is the result of a substantial amount of work by a number of very dedicated people – taking longer for us to produce than even some of our events do.
This paper was our most ambitious content project of 2013. Why? Because it’d never been done before. My colleague, Ben Swanson forged brand new, real relationships with key payers around Europe in order for this project to come to fruition, there were numerous false starts, a number of drafts and various delays. However the finished product has made the entire thing worthwhile, and I hope you’ll agree.
Our payers paper, ‘Show Me the Evidence’ boasts key insights from payers for ALL of the G5 countries of Europe – more than enough insight to provide you with the most valuable payer-oriented piece of content you’ll have read this year. Download it from the link above to see for yourself.