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R&D Costs & Drug Pricing

R&D Costs & Drug Pricing

An article from Kenneth Kaitin, PhD, Professor and Director at Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

This article was originally published by Tufts CSDD Insider.

Kenneth Kaitin, PhD, Professor and Director at Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

Earlier this week, I was interviewed by a National Public Radio affiliate for a segment to be aired in the coming days on whether high drug development costs justify the high prices of many new pharmaceutical products. As many of our readers are aware, Tufts CSDD is known internationally for its series of studies estimating the true cost of pharmaceutical R&D. Our latest study (DiMasi et al, J Health Econ 2016;47:20-33) determined that the fully-capitalized cost to bring a new drug to market, including the cost of failures, is $2.6 billion, a 145% increase in constant dollars over our previous report published in 2003.

At more and more public and professional forums these days, I find myself addressing a common misconception about the relationship between R&D costs and drug prices. Much of this misunderstanding, I believe, comes from confusing messaging by the pharmaceutical industry. For example, when asked to explain why drugs are so expensive, the response is often, because it costs so much to develop new drugs (“The Tufts Center says it costs $2.6 billion to develop a new drug!”). On the other hand, when asked to provide the actual cost data for a specific drug, the response is often, “The cost to develop a drug has no bearing on the price of that drug.” A sane individual might ask, “How can both of these responses be correct?” The bottom line is that they both ARE correct.

As I explain it, average R&D costs represent the cost to maintain R&D operations. In other words, across a company’s marketed drug portfolio, average prices must be high enough for the company to generate sufficient revenue to maintain its R&D operations and (hopefully) develop tomorrow’s breakthrough drug. An individual drug’s price, however, typically reflects that drug’s perceived therapeutic and economic value, the competitive landscape, and the ability to obtain reimbursement. In other words, drug pricing is not unlike pricing of any other product.

The public debate over drug prices and the cost of healthcare in general is certain to continue into the foreseeable future. Greater transparency on how companies determine drug prices and how that relates to R&D costs would go a long way toward improving public understanding and furthering the discussion.

The Shared Ethical Responsibility of Medically and Non-medically Qualified Experts in Human Drug Development Teams

A historical reminder of the importance of Regulatory Affairs in Medicines Development

Hot Topics in Medical Affairs

A historical reminder on the importance of Regulatory Affairs in Medicines Development

As the IFAPP Academy is gearing up for students to start Module 5: Regulatory Affairs, Drug Safety, and Pharmacovigilance we are reminded of the importance of these regulatory bodies and the need for continued oversight in medicines development.  The FDA emphasizes this with a short video about what can happen when medicines are not being properly regulated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrYFbPf5qsM

Want to learn more about medicines regulations within medicines’ development?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.

The IFAPP Academy’s Core Competencies are truly ‘the Core of Medical Affairs’

News from IFAPP Academy


The IFAPP Academy’s Core Competencies are truly ‘the Core of Medical Affairs’


Core Competencies of Medical Affairs

The IFAPP Academy/King’s College, Medical Affairs in Medicines Development, 2018 Cohort is finishing up Module 4 exams, starting this week. This means there are only 2 Modules remaining before the End of Program Assessment, to culminate in the Certification of this year’s qualifying students. Students successfully completing the program will be able to use the post-nominal letters CMD as a designation of their earned competencies.

The IFAPP Academy Core Competencies align with the McKinsey & Co report on the Core Capabilities of Medical Affairs Professionals.

MCKINSEY & CO CORE CAPABILITIES IN MEDICAL AFFAIRS
IFAPP STATEMENT OF COMPETENCE IN MEDICINES DEVELOPMENT
Scientific and technological leadership
and strategic vision
Can identify unmet therapeutic needs, evaluate the evidence for a new candidate for clinical development and design a Clinical Development Plan for a Target Product Profile.
Scientific and technological leadership
Can design, execute and evaluate exploratory and confirmatory clinical trials and prepare manuscripts or reports for publication and regulatory submissions.
Learning agility
Can interpret effectively the regulatory requirements for the clinical development of a new drug through the product life-cycle to ensure its appropriate therapeutic use and proper risk management.
Deep understanding of compliance
Can evaluate the choice, application, and analysis of post-authorization surveillance methods to meet the requirements of national/international agencies for proper information and risk minimization to patients and clinical trial subjects.
Strategic vision & scientific leadership
Can combine the principles of clinical research and business ethics for the conduct of clinical trials and commercial operations within the organization.
Deep understanding of compliance
Can appraise the pharmaceutical business activities in the healthcare environment to ensure that they remain appropriate, ethical and legal to keep the welfare of patients and subjects at the forefront of decision making in the promotion of medicines and design of clinical trials.
Emotional intelligence and communication skills
Emotional intelligence and communication skills

According to McKinsey & Co. (Evers, et al., 2014), “the bar is high for Medical Affairs talent. They need to collaborate with R&D colleagues and deeply understand the science that underpins their work; they must understand the rules and regulations governing the industry almost as well as their compliance and legal department colleagues; and they should have the strategic thinking capabilities of their marketing counterparts as well as the customer-interaction skills of their colleagues in sales.”

IFAPP Academy students gain the necessary knowledge and understanding to create patient-centric environments where they can interact with a broad range of stakeholders to provide a more tangible value to patients. This has become increasingly important as “the right talent is often scarce, especially at the local country level.” The IFAPP Academy is proud to help fill this gap by providing online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

For more information and to apply for the 2019 IFAPP Academy/King’s College, Medical Affairs in Medicines Development Certification Program click here.

References

Evers, M., Edd, F., Ghatak, A., Hartmann, J., Westra, A., Nathoo, A., . . . Suresh, B. (2014, July). Pharma Medical Affairs: 2020 and beyond. Retrieved July 18th, 2018, from McKinsey & Co.: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/pharma-medical-affairs-2020-and-beyond#0

What are the benefits of earning a professional certification?

Hot Topics in Medical Affairs


What are the benefits of earning a professional certification?

Despite the career, employees from construction to IT to Pharmacy have found enormous advantages in obtaining a professional certification within their field. Here are 5 advantages of earning professional certification.



  1. Gain a competitive edge. Because let’s face it, competition can be stiff when it comes to the job market. Whether you’re applying for a new job, wanting to be considered for a promotion, or crossing your fingers for an end-of-year raise a professional certification will help to distinguish you from the pack. When considering two individuals with similar backgrounds, a professional certification may get your resume that second look. Certifications can differentiate you from other professionals in your field or company, showing that you have a demonstrated commitment to understanding and excelling in your profession and a desire to learn more.[1]

2.  Increased competency. The success of a team depends on the knowledge and experience of each of its members, which is why professional certifications have become increasingly important in the field of medicine.[2] After all, the primary criteria for employers is to have professionals on their team that are up-to-date with industry standards, norms, and best practices which are in a constant state of flux.[3] E-learning allows providers, such as the IFAPP Academy, to provide the most current and relevant information in an accessible, convenient, and cost-effective manner.

3. Professional credibility. Earning a certification provides immediate credibility with employers and colleagues. Who is going to question a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or a Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)? Earning a certification from an internationally recognized organization demonstrates your dedication and motivation to professional development. Many companies will actively support their employees in earning these certifications that may even lead to promotions and raises.[4]

  1. Networking opportunities. Working hard to earn a certification allows you to join a unique group of certified and skilled professionals that share similar goals and ambitions. This can prove to be an invaluable peer resource group that can be a boon when looking for answers to a particularly tough problem or when moving from one company to another. The IFAPP Academy encourages students to network and learn from each other through the student forums and live interactive webinars, providing additional viewpoints from an international perspective.

5.  Increased confidence, because confidence is KEY! In a study conducted by the University of Melbourne, Participants were asked to describe their level of confidence at primary school, high school, university, and present day. Those who self-reported higher levels of confidence earlier in school earned better wages and were promoted more quickly.  Lead author Dr. Reza Hasmath, from the University’s School of Social and Political Sciences, said the research demonstrates a crucial ingredient of workplace advancement.  “The implications are tremendous in terms of the personality employers should look for when it comes to hiring or promoting staff,” Dr. Hasmath said.”[5]

Want to learn how to earn a Professional Certification in Medicines Development in Medical Affairs?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals, resulting in the Professional Certification, CMD (Certified Medicines Development).

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.

Resources/References

[1] Laurinavicius, T. (2017, December 07). Why Online Certifications Are Key To Professional Success. Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/tomas-laurinavicius/why-online-certifications_b_11081630.html

[2] Rewards of Certification. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.bpsweb.org/impact-of-bps-certification/rewards-of-certification/

[3] Laurinavicius, T. (2017, December 07). Why Online Certifications Are Key To Professional Success. Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/tomas-laurinavicius/why-online-certifications_b_11081630.html

[4] 10 Benefits of IT Certification for You (and Your Employer). (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/articles/10-benefits-of-it-certification-for-you-and-your-employer/

[5] Hasmath, D. (2012, October 18). Self-confidence the secret to workplace advancement. Retrieved April 09, 2018, from http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/self-confidence-secret-workplace-advancement

The Changing Face of Medical Affairs

Hot Topics in Medical Affairs


The Changing Face of Medical Affairs

MA is set to become a fully-fledged strategic partner. But what has driven this change & what can we expect in years to come?

By: Deirdre Coleman on Nov 22, 2016, originally posted here: https://social.eyeforpharma.com/clinical/changing-face-medical-affairs

The remarkable surge in the size and importance of the Medical Affairs function within pharma companies has roots going back decades. Over many years, pressure from regulatory agencies, payers and healthcare professionals, as well as public sentiment, has led to a clearer separation between the Medical and Commercial functions. It was between these separating tectonic plates that Medical Affairs emerged.

As the traditional single-customer pharma engagement model is replaced by a village of interconnected stakeholders, Medical Affairs is uniquely placed to engage with them. It is equipped to understand the challenges pharma’s stakeholders face and to work as a genuine partner to find solutions, improving patient care and creating value for all stakeholders.

“We are now looking at the medical community as an ongoing strategic investment, a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership, whereas before it was more transactional, more sporadic,” says Keith Allan, former Medical Director at Novartis. “The customer base is far broader now, with payers and regulators looking for evidence of the medical, clinical and economic value of our medicines. The needs of the medical community has expanded enormously, together with the technical complexity associated with the interactions. The [Medical Affairs] function is more strategic as we act as ambassadors and facilitators of information exchange, delivering insights back into Development. It calls for a broader set of capabilities, more business acumen and greater alignment with the commercial goals of the company.”

“Companies have to become the trusted scientific partner. Earning that trust comes through the science, not just pumping out commercial messages. If we’re not able to do this well, we will struggle. “

For Michael Zaiac, Head of Medical Affairs at Celgene, it is long-term engagement within a therapeutic area that builds and maintains long-term strategic partnerships with key opinion leaders. “To move from transaction to true partnership, you need to be in it for the long haul,” he says. “We develop a 15-year plan for what we’re going to do in each therapeutic area. We listen to HCPs and interpret what they want and produce items in partnership with them. We have to understand what our partners want to hear and generate the information they want to hear. We are the mediators – we are there to work with people”.

Critical capabilities

An expansion of capabilities is required if companies are to understand the patient experience, access, and influence a broad array of external healthcare stakeholders, and act as a liaison between the medical community and the internal research organization.

Medical Affairs teams need a wide range of capabilities, says Danie Du Plessis, Head of Medical Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline. “As part of our new business model, which puts Medical staff increasingly at the forefront of HCP interactions, we have emphasized four areas of medical competency and capability: scientific and product expertise, value and access, governance, and communications skills. We really recognize the need to bring those areas together into the ability to translate information into value – to be an engaging communicator, able to moderate and facilitate a conversation between peers with credibility and balance – a considerable skill in itself. They also need to have business acumen, understanding commercially what we need to do and translating the scientific data in a strategic way that would genuinely improve outcomes for patients,” he says.

However, the critical capability is a deep scientific knowledge in order to address unmet need and advance the treatment of the disease, says Gundula Schneidewind, VP, Medical Affairs, Europe and Canada at Takeda. ““In particular, this is true for specialty treatment; companies have to become the trusted scientific partner, earning that trust through the science not by pumping out messages. We owe it to the patients to generate knowledge and, in collaboration with external partners, help advance science.” This starts with deep therapeutic insight, including a better understanding of the epidemiology across geographies right through to data generation, she says. “Starting by recognizing unmet needs and working towards patient-centric solutions, companies can find ways to provide genuine value to those we serve. It’s our job to spread this top-notch knowledge and make it available to the wider community of treating physicians.”

The Trends Driving the Growth of Medical Affairs:

Physicians seeking peer-peer interaction; Physicians requesting greater scientific and evidence driven dialogue information on innovative medicines from industry; conventional commercial interactions are decreasing; customer-facing model is becoming increasingly ‘medicalized’

Tougher regulatory controls; societal expectation; Impacting relationships with HCPs & HCOs, with public scrutiny. Harsher compliance measures, with complex changing guidance, regulations & laws that differs between countries & carries risk of harming reputations through heterogeneity of approaches & leading to severe fiscal penalties

Increased transparency expectations; Rapidly emerging world-wide regulations demanding greater transparency on data from trials, publications, data disclosure, HCP financial transparency, non-HCP interactions, oversight of patient engagement

Increasing safety concerns; Growing concern about safety of medicines and requirement to increase the early signal detection, the speed of response on safety issues, utilization of big data approaches to better understand benefit-risk and encompassing social media as a source of safety information

Rising development costs; Impacting time & ability to deliver locally relevant evidence in a timely and cost-effective manner; increasing pressure on medical plans for local data. Adaptive licensing will require new approaches including need to innovate more early on for efficient in Life Cycle Management

Greater requirements for post- marketing evidence; Most approvals accompanied by Post-Marketing Surveillance and Risk Management Plan requirements. Creating capabilities and focus on developing and executing low-cost efficient observational studies is an imperative

Payors pushing for Real World Evidence; There is a rapid shift towards the requirement of community-based local evidence and higher hurdles for proving product value and defining relevant patient outcomes. In parallel with the increased availability of local data on outcomes and big-data analyzing capability, the shift towards mastering RWE is fundamental

Vocal patient populations; Influence of patients is fundamentally changing, with increased empowerment and social media rise of “consumerism”. Impact of Influential POLs blogging on trials & products, rapidly forming patient advocacy groups, alter perception of marketed drugs. Patient groups could also become critical sources of development /medical funding, and providing insights into shaping programs and educational needs

Shifting global demographics; Understanding heath care systems in rapidly developing countries will be essential to ensure the medicines can fit into the new system and ethnography. Building the evidence into the development programs will be challenging. Medical teams will need to address gaps and have local capabilities to execute studies

Source: Sanofi Medical Affairs Roadmap Presentation

The future for medical affairs

Medical Affairs has to become more proactive about bringing insights from a broader range of external medical decision-makers and influencers into early clinical development. Furthermore, it must also take a lead in demonstrating improved comparative efficacy and cost-effectiveness to payors by employing the real-world evidence and data generated by others. At the same time, it is important for Medical Affairs to re-establish pharmaceuticals’ integrity and credibility by communicating higher quality medical information that is of the highest relevance to customers. The time is right for Medical Affairs organizations to earn their place at the leadership table by creating opportunities to deliver new value for both patients and the healthcare ecosystem.

Nicola Smith, Regional Head of Operations, Field Medical Affairs at QuintilesIMS emphasizes the scope that exists for MA to add huge value to the development and commercial teams. “Their strength lies in their ability to gather insight and to help the organization understand how this information can be translated into strategy and value for stakeholders, the greater the level of actionable insights from the medical affairs teams, the better for everyone. Where could the function go? A long way. MA needs to stand up strongly for its strengths in and around the translation of research evidence into clinical practice in a compliant environment, with strong communication and scientific engagement which, like any scientific method, is listening, iterating, testing, and is flexible to both internal and external stakeholders, while meeting all the regulations. MA needs to strengthen its reach back into clinical development starting at the planning stage and be critically involved. It needs to reach in an appropriate way into the commercial organization – giving advice and inputting into the plan. Who knows the patient pathway better than MA? Is it the answer to every question? Absolutely not and there needs to be mutual respect of other team members including marketing, market access, clinical therapy teams and of the need to work together as a team. The challenge in the future will be maintaining a strong external focus, listening to the prescribers and taking that insight back into the organization to guide future strategy and future development”.

A fundamental challenge going forward will be to ensure that medical affairs as the public face of the organization is seen as a strategic leading partner with external and internal stakeholders, according to Antonio Tataranni, SVP, Head of Medical Affairs, Sanofi. “It means a number of things. MA need to have the right attitude – after all, what brought us here won’t get us there. It’s about taking ownership and leading certain strategic decisions. It’s crucial that we commit to providing the right data at the right time, moving from clinical trials increasingly into the Real World Evidence sphere – we need to own that. The future that we can create as an innovating function is largely dependent on talent and anticipating future needs, identifying knowledge gaps and filling them. I am profoundly convinced that the MA function needs to evolve with a constant reassessment that the offer matches the needs of the marketplace”.

This article is extracted from Trends in Medical Affairs. To download the magazine, click here.

Want to learn more about the many faces of Medical Affairs?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.

King’s College London: “From Molecules to Medicines”

News from IFAPP Academy


King’s College London: From Molecules to Medicine

King’s College London, IFAPP Academy’s academic partner, has a strong tradition in pharmaceutical science.

King’s College London has a strong tradition in pharmaceutical science, world-class pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, and therapeutics. This has led to the creation of a number of spin-out companies, including MedPharm and Proximagen Neuroscience plc.

The School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Science was created to bring together the relevant research groupings across King’s College London.

Molecules to Medicine’s strategy is designed to capture and highlight the broad sweep of research at King’s ranging from pharmacological and chemical studies that can identify novel drug targets and new chemical entities, through formulation and drug development, to clinical trials and the use of medicines by patients. The all-embracing strategy is for researchers to work together towards the discovery of novel medicines and new formulations that can be evaluated in patients in the clinic.

To achieve this goal, and to provide focus, research activities are organized into three related themes: Drug Discovery, Medicines Development, and Medicines Use. Each of these themes includes clusters of research activity, some of which have evolved during the past decade (e.g. drug delivery, chemical biology, pharmaceutical biophysics, pharmacology), and some of which have joined King’s more recently such as enhanced activity in anticancer and anti-infective drug discovery, nanomedicines, substance abuse, health psychology, and clinical pharmacy. Researchers within and across the three themes interact both informally and via joint initiatives to promote cross-disciplinary research. For example, the drug delivery activities of Forbes, Jones, and Daily, working closely with colleagues in pharmacology (Page/Spina) have led to consortium funding and several Ph.D. studentships from the MRC to investigate the safety of nanoparticles in the airways.

This excerpt was originally published on the King’s College website at https://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/ips/about/index.aspx

The IFAPP Academy in partnership with King’s College London offers Academic and Professional Certification for students successfully completing the Medical Affairs in Medicines Development course. To learn about the benefits of Certification from the IFAPP Academy, visit us at https://ifappacademy.org/index.php/ifapp-academy-benefits/

Professor Peter Stonier, Co-director of the Medical Affairs Certification program says:

Do you know what PRIME is?

Hot Topics in Medical Affairs


Do you know what PRIME is?

“Paving the way for promising medicines for patients”
European Medicines Agency


Many patients with serious diseases have no or only unsatisfactory therapeutic options and should be able to benefit from scientific advancement and cutting-edge medicines as early as possible.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) developed PRIME in line with the European Commission’s priorities and the common strategy to 2020 for the European medicines regulatory network. The goal is to foster research on and development of medicines for patients whose diseases cannot be treated or who need better treatment options to help them live healthier lives.

    1.  PRIME is driven by patients’ need.
    2. It focuses on medicines that address an unmet medical need, i.e. offers a major therapeutic advantage over existing treatments or benefits patients with no current treatment options for their disease.
    3. It helps to translate research into the development of medicines while meeting regulatory requirements.
    4. It aims to bring promising treatments to patients earlier, without compromising high evaluation standards and patient safety.


Benefits of PRIME for Medicine Developers

    1. PRIME helps developers of promising new medicines to optimize development plans.
    2. It fosters early dialogue with EMA to facilitate robust data collection and high-quality marketing authorization applications.
    3. It speeds up evaluation so that medicines can reach patients earlier.
    4. It encourages developers to focus resources on medicines likely to make a real difference to patients’ lives.

This article was originally published on the EMA website. To view the full publication please visit this direct link: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Leaflet/2016/03/WC500202670.pdf

Want to learn more about the European Medicines Agency and its initiatives?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.