Author: Matt Arnold, Principal Analyst 






  • Pharma execs are hoping Scott Gottlieb is tapped for FDA commissioner. Gottlieb, a smart and thoughtful conservative think tank type who served as deputy commissioner under George W. Bush, is up against several candidates of a more radical libertarian bent, whose proposals to, for example, do away with establishing efficacy as a precondition for marketing approval, might undermine public confidence in prescription medications.


  • FDA is reexamining the question of how pharmas can communicate through character-limited media like Twitter and stay consistent with fair balance rules. PhRMA is making the case for allowing links to risk info, and AbbVie suggests the use of alternate formats such as GIFs on Twitter.



  • PhRMA plans a big PR push arguing for pay-for-performance deals as an alternative to government intervention on drug pricing, though there is broad skepticism that value-based pricing schemes can bend the cost curve or are executable in many conditions, like depression or cancer, where measuring effectiveness of a treatment on an individual patient can be tricky.


  • Among the more prominent value-based pricing deals in recent years are a pair of risk-sharing contracts between Merck and Aetna for Merck’s type 2 diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet. MM&M has a look at the arrangement and the thinking of the partners.




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