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QuintilesIMS Blog

Fresh ideas and insights from our experts around the globe

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Brazilians flock to pharmacies: How healthcare companies can bolster sales by embracing this shifting shopper trend
Michael Klein
Conducting research into neglected tropical diseases can be a tough sell for biopharmaceutical companies. The investments are significant, the risks are great, and the payoff is primarily philanthropic. But the need is clear. One billion people are affected by neglected tropical diseases worldwide, and each year neglected diseases disproportionately kill or disable millions of poor people primarily in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. For many biopharma companies, addressing these deadly diseases has become a core goal of their philanthropic efforts. But even with unwavering executive commitment, the many obstacles these companies face managing research in the most remote parts of the world can feel insurmountable. Though it doesn’t have to be. The key to approaching...
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Global Trends in Clinical Research
The globalization of industry-sponsored clinical trials over the past 17 years is not unexpected. The cost and competition faced when conducting trials in the US and EU has become overwhelming, and many biopharmaceutical companies are seeking new destinations for trial studies that offer opportunities to shorten clinical trial duration and reduce the cost per clinical trial subject.  Emerging market destinations are also attractive because of the opportunity to collect data from patients with diverse ethnic backgrounds, as well as the availability of qualified investigators – all without the competition or cost they face in more developed nations.  As a result, the balance of clinical trial investment around the globe is shifting. In a recent report on clinical trial trends from...
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EricaCaveney
Regulatory agencies have traditionally required trials be double-blind for good reason. Open-label trials, in which the researchers and patients know which treatment is being administered, often expose researchers and patients to biased and flawed results. But because of the way insulin is made and administered, double-blind trials in this patient population have risks as well. Achieving the appropriate insulin dose in a specific patient is a delicate balancing act. Too much insulin results in hypoglycemia, with symptoms ranging from discomfort to dangerous and even life threatening consequences. However, if the insulin dose is too low, sequela from hyperglycemia, such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, and fatigue (weak, tired feeling), may occur. So in insulin...
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How Horizontal Integration Can Drive Health System Innovation
The traditional vertical integration of pharmaceutical companies is hindering innovation. It has of course been driven by the need to ensure that discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines is conducted to the highest standards of safety and ethics at every stage. This however has created a linear process with each stage in the life cycle of a molecule being conducted independently of the next. While there have been many successes in improving health outcomes using this approach disruption to this status quo could lead to faster innovation. The healthcare systems which the pharmaceutical industry serves are constantly in a state of dynamic change. To be responsive, biopharmaceutical companies need to understand and tackle the concept that commercial value is becoming...
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RickSax
The incredibly high failure rates seen in clinical trials has pushed biopharmaceutical companies to aggressively manage the time and cost of these initiatives as a way to reduce their risk. Such efforts can deliver incremental savings on trial design, but too often these short-term gains increase the risk of long term losses.  When clinical trial project teams face relentless pressure to cut costs and shorten time frames, it pulls their focus away from the long term goals of identifying the most promising drug candidates and delivering them to market. If they are being judged on how much they spend on every trial, they can’t make the best decisions for the long term success of a drug. Cutting overhead for example, may achieve short term savings goals, but it lessens their ability to...
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PaulSutton
The increasing availability of big data presents major opportunities for biopharma, so we need to question how we as an industry use it to deliver localized value to the NHS. But first, what exactly is big data, and what specific role does it play in healthcare? Clearly, there is almost limitless data in healthcare, covering practically every procedure, condition and drug, and coming from a vast number of providers. But to simply say that big data is just a collective term for all the information flowing between organizations is to miss the point. If we are to realize the potential of big data, we need a stronger definition. At Quintiles we begin by looking at it in terms of volume, velocity and variety. Thanks to an explosion of sources, from the proliferation of electronic health...
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PatrickJordan
I recently took my family for a fall drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway through the mountains of North Carolina. The drive has something for everyone: soaring vistas for the leaf peepers, eerie tunnels for the kids, and hairpin turns that reacquaint fast drivers with Newton's laws of motion.  It was this last characteristic that generated the most discussion during my drive: why the whole length of the Parkway--all 469 miles of it--didn't have guardrails. They could reduce serious accidents. They could save lives. They could allow faster driving.  For all the benefits, guardrails would cost too much. It boils down to a benefit/cost analysis--benefits from the reduction in crashes and costs associated with installing the improvement. The ratio has to be compelling to get the...
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Reaping Rewards in Russia, Turkey and MENA
In the world of global biopharmaceutical sales, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East (MENA) are the new darlings — for a variety of reasons.  Economically, these countries are well positioned. Russia is experiencing the highest growth rate of all the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and Turkey is close behind, ranking among the top 10 fastest growing emerging markets, Both also have strong and diverse economies, which is key to maintaining a strong pace of growth for years to come. MENA as a region has also fast economic growth and highest cash reserves per capita in the world.  The improving economic environment in these countries indicates that sales of pharmaceutical drugs will rise in coming years as citizens move into higher economic brackets and seek broader...
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EricaCaveney
Diabetes is undoubtedly a growing healthcare concern worldwide. In China alone, more  98.4 million people suffer from diabetes; in India, more than 65.1 million; and in the United States, more than 24.4 million. And behind those numbers lays an even more distressing find: four out of five people with diabetes worldwide live in countries classified by the World Bank as low- and middle-income.  This global healthcare crisis requires a global approach to developing treatments. The problem is that the biopharmaceutical industry too often treats all of these patients as if they are the same. But differences in their genetic make-up, environment, culture, diet, economic status, comorbidities and the way they engage with the medical community, makes them vastly different from a...
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Robert Taylor
Proving value is hardly a new objective for biopharma. In the commercial world, it would be unforgivable to send a product to market without being absolutely sure you could demonstrate real value to providers, payers and patients. Get this wrong, and you risk losing market share and profits.  The approach therefore is clear: find out how your stakeholders define value, and mirror it. That should be a relatively simple task, and until recently, it was. The UK, for example, had a single market access gatekeeper; NICE, so aligning with its definition of value was essential. But since the 2013 NHS reforms, there are now hundreds of local budget holders with unique unmet needs and potentially vastly different definitions of value.  So where do you start? Part of the answer must lie in...
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