Friday, October 2, 2015

ePharma News: New Hampshire | Pharma Companies Under Fire for Deceptive Marketing yet AGAIN!

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Pharma companies in New Hampshire are under investigation for opioid marketing practices

Several pharmaceutical companies in New Hampshire are under an investigation fire over opioid marketing - deceptive drug marketing practices that fail to warn patients about the side effects that can cause an addiction. As was stated in the press release by the New Hampshire Department of Justice Office of Attorney General, "The growing heroin and opioid crisis is the most pressing public health and safety challenge facing our state, and it stems in part from the overuse, misuse, and abuse of addictive prescription opioids." The Attorney General doesn't exclude the link between the marketing practices of the certain drugmakers and a recent increased usage of heroin in the state of New Hampshire. Through conducting an investigation the Department of Justice of New Hampshire is planning to determine whether the deceptive marketing strategies by the pharmaceutical companies under question have influenced the choices of doctors and patients.

FDA approves the combination Opdivo-Yervoy by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co as melanoma treatmentFor the first time in the U.S. history the combination of two drugs was approved by the FDA. The two drugs, Opdivo and Yervoy by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, in combination, aim to help the immune system fight advanced melanoma. The price for this treatment is said to be as high as $250,000 a year. Tim Turnham, executive director of the nonprofit Melanoma Research Foundation expressed his concerns regarding the costs of the treatment to the Wall Street Journal stating that he is afraid that the cost can become a barrier between patients, and the kind of care they need to obtain to fight cancer. Another down side of using the combination of drugs is the side effects. As was reported, during the Optivo-Yervoy clinical trial the patients experienced stronger unpleasant side effects, which caused the dropout rate of 36% in patients.

Actions of another pharmaceutical company have caused similar to Martin Shkreli's outrage in public. According to Bloomberg BNA, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has received a letter urging the chair person to serve a subpoena to Valeant Pharmaceuticals in response to the rapid increase in prices for the Nitropress and Isuprel drugs, the rights to which the company acquired earlier this year. As voiced in the letter, the prices for the drugs were increased by 212% and 525% respectively the same day of purchase. The petitioners stated, that they "are fed up with drug companies putting profits before people," and that such increase in pricing on these two critical drugs has a negative impact on hospitals and other care providers.


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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at knewton@iirusa.com
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