Friday, December 18, 2015

ePharma News: Martin Shkrelli arrested | A Dating App has leaked info on its HIV-positive users

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Official website of The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives has voted to ban the use of microbeads, the small parts that are used in a lot of personal care products as exfoliators. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 bill prohibits manufacture or the introduction of a rinse-off cosmetic that contains intentionally-added plastic microbeads that are less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used as exfoliators or cleansers in cosmetic products. Plastic microbeads were found to be hazardous to the environment causing pollution and putting in danger marine life. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 bill will take effect in 2018.

Another data breach involving personal medical information has affected the users of HZone, a dating app for HIV - positive people. According to Mirror, HZone has accidentally revealed sensitive information on almost 5000 of its users. The more concerning factor is that the information stored with the app is not limited with emails and addresses of the users but also has their HIV-positive status, which for most users is absolutely crucial to keep a secret about. HZone app that states to be number one HIV Dating App for HIV singles, has a similar approach to another popular dating app called Tinder, where the matching opportunities are based on the location of the users. It was reported that the security measures were put in place.

It was announced that Martin Shkrelli, a pharmaceutical executive who became notorious for buying the exclusive rights for the drug Pyrimethamine (trade name Daraprim) and increasing its price from $13.5 to $750 per pill, was arrested in New York on fraud charges. According to Bloomberg Business Martin Shkrelli has orchestrated an investment scheme and misappropriated the assets of his company Retrophin.

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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 or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton

Friday, December 11, 2015

ePharma News: eCigarettes are out to get YOU | Pfizer-Allergan: $64 billion in sales to expect

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A woman is smoking e-cigarette
Harvard Gazette just published the findings of Harvard researchers on correlation between the lung disease and smoking e-cigarettes. The scientists from Harvard have conducted a study with an objective to determine whether or not flavoring chemical diacetyl (that has been linked in the past to the "popcorn lung"), and two other flavoring chemicals are present in a sample of flavored e-cigarettes. As the result, at least one flavoring chemical was detected in 47 of 51 unique flavors tested, and diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection 39 of the 51 flavors tested. Given that diacetyl has already been associated with severe respiratory diseases of those exposed to its vapors,the researchers are trying to make a point that while nicotine remains to be the main concern when talking about smoking, there are other chemicals that lead to cancer, and the matter needs to be further researched.

Google yet again makes the news. Google (Alphabet) Life Sciences just applied for a patent for its new wearable med tech device called Needle-Free Blood Draw. In its attempt to help diabetic patients, the life science division of Google has developed a device that collects a small blood sample without a needle penetration. This work contributes to an ongoing efforts toward patients with diabetes who make up to 29 million people in the U.S. along. The bigger idea is to be able to provide on the go support to those patients who require to be monitored 24/7. So far there are two different designs that were proposed in the patent application: a wrist-based wearable and a device that reminds a standard blood-drawing tool.

How impactful can be $1.6 billion spent on advertising? Quite impactful, in fact. Pfizer and Allergan
Pfizer headquarters in NYC
are merging ($160 billion deal) creating the largest pharma company in the world that will be operating the name Pfizer plc. Combined advertising spend of both companies will place it right below the top advertisers including Proctor & Gamble ($4.6 billion spent in 2015.) Together, Pfizer and Allergan are expected to produce $64 billion in sales. The occurring merge of the two giants is a part of the bigger picture - tax inversion, a move that will cut down Pfizertaxes from 25% to 17% -18% by moving the headquarters to Ireland, a lower-tax nation and the homebase for Allergan.


Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

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 or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton