Compliance is a conundrum as old as the practice of medicine itself but one new technological advance is set to provide a solution to at least one aspect of the challenge – did the patient actually take the medicine? A California-based medical device maker has just achieved FDA approval for marketing a digestible sensor which will report back wirelessly to doctors from inside the patient's stomach.
A new study of internet use by 500 doctors based in the US has offered some revealing insights on the role of search engines in the daily work practices of American physicians. US doctors now spend twice as much time on professional websites, online drugs reference sites and using mobile apps as they do perusing printed material such as journals and reference books.
Could the recent US Supreme Court decision on overtime payment to pharmaceutical reps be the best possible result for those educated industry sales force members who peruse Take Two? We certainly hope so. In a split decision, the most senior court in the land of the free ruled (just) that industry won’t be required to pay overtime to its salespeople. The landmark ruling on a case filed by reps from GSK has effectively guillotined dozens of possible suits and industry analysts reckon that it will ultimately save industry hundreds of millions, if not billions, in back-dated overtime pay.
Industry issues UK jobs warning as medicines pricing debate begins
One wonders what Dr James Reilly and HSE/DoH colleagues will make of a recent Reuters article on UK medicines pricing? The story, which is also carried in the Daily Telegraph, reports a warning by the British pharmaceutical industry that drug manufacturing could leave the UK if attitudes to pricing become unsympathetic. Of course no country is more reliant on its medicines manufacturing sector than recession-embattled Ireland. With discussions between IPHA and the DoH on new pricing mechanisms seemingly in Mexican stand-off mode, and a long line of drugs awaiting GMS reimbursement, will Irish industry leaders consider a similar strategy?
Now that the US Army has extracted itself from Iraq, its medical authorities have begun the task of tackling a significant long-term consequence of such overseas intervention. Physicians in the employ of the armed forces have announced they will embark on widespread clinical trials to assess the efficacy of treatments that are being widely prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
French premier Francois Hollande may be all for change in terms of his country’s economic strategy and renegotiating the close Franco-German relationship forged by his predecessor. But, when it comes to healthcare, the new left-wing election victor appears determined to stick to the taxpharma agenda laid down by Nicolas Sarkozy. And that’s not good news for industry in a country where its reputation has already been substantially tarnished by a medicines safety scandal.
For Take Two, the impact of seeing the direct-to-consumer advertising of Rx medicines on television remains undiminished regardless of how many times we visit the United States. And the bit that packs the biggest punch is the voiceover at the end which details a long list of potential side effects. Now, we’d have thought that it was impossible for the American public to overlook such warnings. But this apparently isn’t the case because the pharmaceutical industry now stands accused by some of deliberately diverting the attention of viewers just as the tricky stuff arrives. Cue the golden Labrador.
Many of our readers place a particular value on communications emanating from the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) at St James’s Hospital these days, so it’s interesting to see their longer-established counterparts in the UK break fresh ground in this area. NICE – also known as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – has just launched the official NICE Guidance app for users of Android and iPhone smartphones.
A recent post bemoaned the quality of a recent Amnesty International video laudably highlighting inequity of access to healthcare for those with medical cards. If the charity is considering freshening up their digital outreaches, they could do worse that take a look at a clip that’s lurking right beside their limited Healthcare Guaranteed: Scourge! video on YouTube. In I Like to Shift Girls, Limerick satirists the Rubberbandits head into the hospital to tackle the subject of safe-sex. We’re warning before you go any further that whilst it’s clever and tongue in cheek, it’s not for the fainthearted.
The third episode in Amnesty International’s campaign for equal access to healthcare in Ireland represents one of the most disjointed approaches to lobbying and key message delivery yet undertaken. ‘Healthcare Guaranteed: Scourge!’ arrived in your scribe’s inbox from a friend tagged ‘The weirdest health campaign ever’ and that description is probably being kind.