Facts & Figures - December 2013

According to a QPharma survey, 25 percent of specialists claim to fully understand the Sunshine Act and 30 percent of primary care physicians have minimal or no understanding of the Sunshine Act. In addition, 62 percent of doctors who stated that they accept samples were unaware that there is a section of the Sunshine Act requiring disclosure of samples, and 56 percent did not know that a record of these samples will be provided to FDA, according to the survey.

Among respondents who stated that they fully understood the Sunshine Act at the start of the QPharma survey, 17 percent felt that after completing it they had no understanding of the transparency laws. Regarding the respondents who stated they had no understanding of the Sunshine Act at the start of the survey, 86 percent felt that after completing it they had some understanding of the transparency laws.
“Companies should get the word out by preparing a one sheet physician act 101 sheet,” says Maria A. Galdos, senior manager, healthcare compliance, QPharma. “CMS has provided this, but it is more than one page and the one page fact sheet could be left at the doctor’s office every time a rep visits. The rep need not to comment on the piece, just leave it. Further, the one page 101 sheet should have a toll free number where physicians can call with questions.”

Greater access to medicines by the world’s rapidly expanding middle class, together with stronger economic prospects in developed nations, will bring total spending on medicines to the $1 trillion threshold in 2014 and to $1.2 trillion by 2017, according to new research by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

IMS researchers found that growth in global spending on medicines increased 2.6 percent to $965 billion in 2012, and is forecast to grow at a 3 to 6 percent compound annual rate over the next five years. With new product launches dominated by innovative specialty medicines, particularly for the treatment of cancer, payer concerns about rising costs for these drugs will intensify in both developed and pharmerging markets. Spending on specialty medicines is expected to reach $230-240 billion in 2017, up 38 percent from the $171 billion spent in 2012.

According to IMS analysts, an increasing number of new molecular entities is expected to be approved over the next five years, similar to the levels seen in the mid-2000s. The majority of new launches will address unmet needs in specialty disease areas, orphan diseases, and small patient populations, including medicines that could transform treatments in rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and several tumor types. Recent and near-term launches of new medicines primarily address the disease profiles of patients in high-income countries. Although a growing number of these conditions are also prevalent across the globe, several of the most burdensome have few new treatment options, including malaria, neonatal sepsis, and tuberculosis.

Sources: QPharma (qpharma.com) and IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics (theimsinstitute.com).

Posted: December 2013

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