Pharmaceutical Market is not Recession-Proof

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An updated forecast of global pharma sales comes up nearly a billion dollars shy of the forecast from October, suggesting that the pharmaceutical market is indeed not recession-proof, according to a report from IMS Health . Innovation in drug therapy, however, continues to forge ahead and it’s interesting to follow the pharma industry as it adapts to tough economic times.

Two “combo” pills for hypertension have received the nod from the FDA to move forward. Daiichi Sankyo’s Azor, which combines two medications, and Novartis’ Exforge HCT, a combination of three meds. Drug compliance is problematic when cardiac patients feel overwhelmed with the number of pills they must take daily. The movement to combine several medications into one pill seems to be on the right track.

The impending loss of drug patent rights confronts many drug makers, but Sanofi-Aventis has beat the odds again regarding Lovenox. The company has been battling for years to safeguard Lovenox from generic-maker Amphastar. This latest win, however, seems momentary as other companies also are seeking FDA approval for their generic brand of the drug.

In other combo drug news, researchers found that clopidogrel (plus aspirin) is a good replacement for vitamin K-antagonists, such as warfarin, in patients with a-fib. Warfarin is not for everybody, and the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin significantly reduced risk of stroke.

Unfortunately, for patients who might be intolerant to warfarin, the government has nixed the request to pay for a genetic test to determine one’s compatibility. The test, which can cost up to $500, could help save time and money, as physicians and patients work out the proper dosing regimen, if, in fact, there is one.

There’s much more happening in the cardiovascular pharmaceutical world and this portal will help keep you up to date. And be sure to sign up for our other portals, with a different one e-mailed weekly.

In addition, the cover story for the March/April Cardiovascular Business is a must read as it details new blood-thinning options.

For more information on all things cardiovascular, stop by our HealthCare TechGuide. Company and product listings, whitepapers and upcoming events are just a mouse click away.

Lastly, if you have a comment or report to share about any aspect of cardiovascular pharmaceuticals, please contact me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Chris Kaiser, Editor