Fitbit CEO James Park told investors and analysts that the company is looking to go deeper on healthcare applications for its wearables, and hinted that they’ll look into use cases that would take them to the FDA. “We are learning that lack of consumer engagement is a critical missing element in many broad healthcare efforts such as population health and disease management,” he quipped.
Big investors to pharma: You need to get ahead of the pricing debate before Congress decides it for you. And I’ll add to that that as a speaker at last week’s Transforming Healthcare conference noted, all three remaining presidential candidates are in agreement that Medicare should negotiate drug prices directly with manufacturers.
Clinton now favors opening Medicare up to more Americans, say those 50 and up – a “Medicare for more” scheme to parry her Democratic rival’s “Medicare-for-all” platform. Such a move would give CMS a lot more leverage in setting drug prices, whether directly or indirectly.
Cigna announced that it has won value-based pricing contracts for both of the pricey new PCSK9 cholesterol-lowering drugs on the market – Sanofi/Regeneron’s Praluent and Amgen’s Repatha. The pharmas will take a haircut on patients whose LDL reduction does not meet or exceed targets based on clinical trials – on top of preexisting discounts on the drugs’ $14K+ price tags.
It’s M&A May merger mania! IMS Health is absorbing Quintiles in a $9 billion stock swap. The deal offers prescription data hegemon IMS a world-class contract research organization and associated clinical trials services, along with a contract sales org. It also complements IMS’s Rx data offering with a trove of real world evidence to be gleaned from Quintiles’ clinical trials business, potentially setting the company up to compete with IBM’s Watson. The merged business will be called Quintiles IMS.
Clinical trials are the next frontier of digital patient engagement, and this is why real world evidence is becoming the buzzword du jour: “Clinical trial research often ignores objective measures about participants' quality of life and instead relies on subjective data collected in surveys. Today's mobile technologies let researchers continuously collect consistent, reliable, objective information about things that are meaningful to participants, such as the quality of their sleep or their ability to walk through the grocery store without fatigue.”
Allergan ran a successful EHR outreach effort for their hospital antibiotic Dalvance, achieving a 28% engagement rate with physicians across 320 hospital targets in the first month of a six-month campaign.
FDA is looking into how “intrinsic and extrinsic cues,” i.e., product attributes like shape, brand name and price, can influence perceptions of product quality in the absence of objective quality information.
Health transparency tools are supposed to level the playing field on pricing and make healthcare consumers savvier shoppers. Unfortunately, even when they’re available, nobody seems to use them. That’s the upshot of a study published in JAMA that found only 10% of the 150,000 employees followed ever logged onto the website over the course of a year.
If you haven’t checked out my colleague Kelly’s post on our new physician data, take a look – juicy stuff on how physicians are navigating the shift from volume to value, where they’re spending their time online and how pharma might support telehealth.