Certain providers recently received a solicitation from Cigna, informing them that their patients on secukinumab (Cosentyx) – a biologic commonly prescribed for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and other autoimmune illnesses – may soon receive a $500 debit card for accepting an alternative treatment. Uniformly, any patient on this medication is enticed to switch even if they’re stable on their current treatment. Disturbingly, this attempt to lure patients by providing them with a one-time payment blurs the line between insurance coverage and medical practice.
We count on innovation to improve our lives. In a quest to make innovations come faster we have considered how, and to whom, we entrust research and development. A new study suggests that the rate of innovation is driven mostly by how many simple and complex solutions might be available.
Dupixent, a drug that already works miracles for people with eczema, has been found to be very effective for treatment of severe asthma. Nothing else does this. Keep this in mind the next time you think that the pharmaceutical industry is not innovative.
Sufferers of asthma and eczema should be very thankful that drug companies continue to do research. There are now biological drugs that are very effective in treating both conditions. I should know. I take two of them.
Biosimilars are less expensive generic versions of expensive biologic medicines. Rheumatologists, who prescribe a lot of these medications, have a few concerns about how they're approved. Namely, if these meds provide identical treatment as biologics, and that they're expensive. A position paper and accompanying editorial have been written focusing on these issues.
Who hasn’t chuckled at a TV prescription drug ad, during its litany of wide-ranging potential side effects? Anal leakage and the oft-repeated erections lasting more than four hours? With direct-to-consumer marketing, product overstatements of health benefits with simultaneous minimization of possible harms have become the norm. Now, the FDA wants to change that.