January, 2024

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Opinion: Defunding liberal arts is dangerous for health care

STAT

If you want an argument in favor of teaching the humanities, I suggest you ask a medical educator. Across the U.S., the age-old debate about the value of a liberal arts education has seemingly devolved into mortal combat, leaving the humanities in dire straits on college campuses. For example, the Atlantic recently reported on West Virginia University’s decision to gut its humanities programming, and the New York Times wondered whether the liberal arts will exist after the budget cuts hap

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Five retail pharmacy trends for 2024

Drug Store News

Labor challenges, the expansion of healthcare services, store-count rationalization and PBM reform are among the front-burner issues in the year ahead.

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To Crush or Not to Crush: That is the Medication Administration Question

Pharmacy Times

Pharmacists are well suited to identify patients with dysphagia and educate patients and caregivers on when and how to safely crush and administer medication.

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Paxlovid Found Not to Reduce Long COVID Risk

Drug Topics

A new study found that 16.1% of patients treated with nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) reported long COVID symptoms, compared to 14% of untreated patients.

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Position Your Pharmacy for Expansion

Speaker: Chris Antypas and Josh Halladay

Access to limited distribution drugs and payer contracts are key to pharmacy expansion. But how do you prepare your operations to take the next step? Meaningful data: Collect and share clinical data regarding outcomes, utilization, and more Reporting: Limited distribution models require efficient tracking and reporting systems Workflows: Align workflows with specific pharma and payer contractual requirements For in-depth, expert insights on pharmacy expansion, watch this webinar from Inovalon.

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Former Pfizer statistician found guilty of insider trading on Paxlovid trial results

Fierce Pharma

A jury has found a former Pfizer statistician guilty of insider trading after a two-week trial in federal court in the Southern District of New York. | A federal jury has found a former Pfizer statistician guilty of insider trading after a two-week trial in Manhattan. The jury convicted Amit Dagar, 44, of Hillsborough, N.J., of using advance information on successful trial results for Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid to make more than $270,000 in stock trades.

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UnitedHealth Group kicks off payer earnings, reports $5.5B in Q4 profit

Fierce Healthcare

Industry giant UnitedHealth Group kicked off fourth-quarter earnings for major payers on Friday morning, where it reported $5.5 billion in profit. | Industry giant UnitedHealth Group kicked off fourth-quarter earnings for major payers on Friday morning, where it reported $5.5 billion in profit.

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‘Medicine is going personalised’: Moderna’s UK boss on the coming vaccine revolution

The Guardian - Pharmaceutical Industry

Darius Hughes was a key figure in Pfizer’s pioneering Covid vaccine drive. Now he has changed companies – and sees a big future for mRNA technology The man who launched Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in the UK three years ago – when 90-year-old Margaret Keenan in Coventry became the first person in the world to receive one – is now overseeing the construction of a manufacturing and research centre in Oxfordshire for rival US jab maker Moderna.

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Statins Could Potentially Slow Deterioration of Cognitive Function for Those With Alzheimer Disease

Pharmacy Times

Due to the observational nature of the study, the study authors said they cannot determine causal relationships between statins and cognitive decline for patients with Alzheimer disease.

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JPM: Four ways FDA is seeking to buoy gene therapy

pharmaphorum

Dr Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research told a packed house in San Francisco for JPM that FDA wants to support gene therapies in 2024.

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Millions of doses of Pfizer's Paxlovid will go to waste in UK, EU as COVID demand plummets

Fierce Pharma

On the heels of a major Paxlovid inventory write-off in the United States, many more doses of Pfizer's COVID-fighting antiviral are going to waste overseas. | At the end of November, more than 1.5 million courses of Pfizer’s Paxlovid had expired unused in European countries, analysts at Airfinity said in a new report. The total tally of expired doses in Europe is expected to hit 3.1 million by the end of next month, representing a value of $2.2 billion.

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What the FDA's New Dosage Guidance Means for the Future of Clinical Research

Speaker: Dr. Ben Locwin - Biopharmaceutical Executive & Healthcare Futurist

What will the future hold for clinical research? A recent draft from the FDA provides valuable insight. In "Optimizing the Dosage of Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products for the Treatment of Oncologic Diseases," the FDA notes that "targeted therapies demonstrate different dose-response relationships compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, such that doses below the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) may have similar efficacy to the MTD but with fewer toxicities.

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JPM24: Amazon rolls out service to connect customers with digital health benefits, taps Omada Health as launch partner

Fierce Healthcare

SAN FRANCISCO—Amazon plans to collaborate with digital health companies to connect customers with virtual care benefits for managing conditions like diabetes and hypertension. | Amazon plans to collaborate with digital health companies to connect customers with virtual care benefits for managing conditions like diabetes and hypertension. The online retail giant tapped virtual-first chronic care provider Omada Health as its first partner.

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STAT+: Years after a polarizing approval, Biogen walks away from Aduhelm

STAT

Biogen is giving up its ownership of Aduhelm , the Alzheimer’s disease treatment whose 2021 approval led to scrutiny and outrage, turning the page on a tempestuous chapter in the company’s long history. Neurimmune, the Swiss company that invented Aduhelm, will regain full rights to the intravenous medicine, Biogen said Wednesday. Biogen will also terminate an ongoing clinical trial meant to prove the treatment’s benefits for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s

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Pharma Horizons: Artificial Intelligence

European Pharmaceutical Review

The first in our inaugural Pharma Horizons report series is dedicated to exploring the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for drug development, pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality control. AI/ML is predicted to be the top technology investment for 60 percent of life sciences companies over the next two years, according to a recent survey 1 from the Pistoia Alliance.

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FDA Approves BrainSee, First-in-Class Test to Predict Progression of Alzheimer Disease

Pharmacy Times

BrainSee creates a new standard for progression prediction in Alzheimer disease, marking a step forward in brain health management with non-invasive screening.

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5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Pharmacy Management Software

Are you still using workarounds to manage your daily operations? To achieve peak performance, it's time to explore other options for specialty and infusion pharmacy software. Streamline pharmacy operations and improve clinical performance with automated processing, real-time data exchange, and electronic decision support. Download this helpful infographic to: Drive efficiency and patient adherence from referral receipt to delivery and ongoing care – all with our Pharmacy Cloud.

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Why amplifying the patient voice is crucial to clinical trial success

pharmaphorum

Amplifying the patient voice is essential for the success of clinical trials. Learn why it is crucial for patient engagement, recruitment, and overall trial success, and how it can address challenges such as transportation and financial barriers.

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FDA wants classwide boxed warning on all commercial CAR-T therapies amid secondary cancer safety probe

Fierce Pharma

As many have feared, the FDA’s investigation into secondary T-cell cancers following treatment with existing CAR-T therapies is poised to lead to a classwide black box warning. | As many have feared, the FDA's investigation into secondary T-cell malignancies following treatment with existing CAR-T therapies is poised to lead to a classwide black box warning.

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Humana's stock tumbles pre-market as it posts $541M loss in Q4

Fierce Healthcare

Humana primed the pump last week for a disappointing fourth quarter call, and its stock again dropped Thursday morning as the company posted a $541 million loss. | Humana primed the pump last week for a disappointing fourth quarter call, and its stock again dropped Thursday morning as the company posted a $541 million loss.

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STAT+: Judge skeptical of arguments against Medicare drug price negotiation

STAT

WILMINGTON, Del. — Wednesday was the first time that a federal judge asked questions in-person of drug industry lawyers who are trying to stop Medicare from negotiating drug prices. It didn’t go well for them. AstraZeneca’s lawyers argued that Medicare’s new powers amount to a taking of their property rights without due process.

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Merck is on the lookout for more opportunities within immunology

Pharmaceutical Technology

At the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, Merck (MSD) indicated its eagerness to continue to establish its place in the immunological space.

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All it Takes is a Conversation: Deprescribing Benzodiazepines in Older Adults

Pharmacy Times

Benzodiazepines have proven effective in managing anxiety and insomnia, but they heighten risk of falls, cognitive impairment, functional decline, and mortality among older adults.

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How Quantum Computing Will Impact Pharma in 2024: Q&A With Erik Huestis, Partner at Foley Hoag

PharmExec

Huestis discusses the ways that quantum simulation and quantum systems can be used in areas such as drug discovery and the creation and protection of intellectual property in the life sciences industry.

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Gilead's Trodelvy fails to extend survival in lung cancer study, prompting selloff

Fierce Pharma

Even as Gilead looks to become an oncology powerhouse in the coming years, the company on Monday recorded a major setback for its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) Trodelvy. | The antibody-drug conjugate did not significantly improve survival outcomes compared with a chemotherapy alone in previously treated patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

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CES 2024: Older seniors are happily living with AI—in the form of chatty robot ElliQ

Fierce Healthcare

LAS VEGAS — With all the buzz and headlines about artificial intelligence, there is one demographic that is quietly embracing the technology and even building long-term relationships with it. | With all the buzz and headlines about artificial intelligence, there is one demographic that is quietly embracing the technology and even building long-term relationships with it.

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Opinion: The emergency room is where the United States’ social problems come home to roost

STAT

From “ Legacy ” by Uché Blackstock, M.D., published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2024 by Uché Blackstock, M.D. In the U.S., access to health care has long depended on insurance and a person’s ability to pay, with patients of color making up a disproportionate number of the under- or uninsured, as I have seen firsthand.

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Data-driven disease research harnessing the genome

pharmaphorum

Discover how the UK Biobank is leveraging technology and the power of genomics in data-driven disease research. Join the digital revolution in understanding and combating diseases using cutting-edge techniques and large-scale genomic data analysis.

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Poor Sleep Quality in Early Adulthood Linked With Worse Cognitive Performance in Middle Age

Pharmacy Times

The risk of poor cognitive performance was nearly double in participants who had the greatest number of sleep disturbances compared to the least.

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PharmaVoice’s Crystal Ball: What’s next in drug innovation and clinical trials

PharmaVoice

As advanced therapies and patient perspectives strengthen their foothold in R&D, pharma is poised to deliver impactful treatments in record time.

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JPM24: Pfizer CEO promises 'year of execution' after recent struggles, Seagen buyout

Fierce Pharma

Pfizer knows it had a bad year in 2023. Speaking to reporters at the 2024 J.P. | Pfizer knows it had a bad year in 2023. Speaking to reporters at the 2024 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday, the company’s CEO, Albert Bourla, spoke bluntly about the hits the company took, and he acknowledged the underperformance of certain key launches.

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CES 2024: Elevance Health launches program to provide digital health-enabled smartphones to Medicaid members

Fierce Healthcare

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care and digital health tools are more popular than ever. | Elevance Health is launching a new initiative that aims to put smartphones in the hands of Medicaid members who otherwise cannot connect to virtual services.

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STAT+: Can Wegovy treat depression as well as obesity? New research looks to GLP-1 drugs for mental illnesses

STAT

Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy — already game changers for diabetes and obesity — are being studied to treat an entirely different growing health problem: mental health illnesses, including depression and bipolar disorder. Early data and anecdotes suggest that this class of GLP-1 drugs could help patients feel less depressed and anxious.

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Women’s health gap estimated at $1trn in new report

pharmaphorum

The disparity in access to healthcare between women and men around the world is often talked about but has never been given a dollar value – until now.

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Community Pharmacists Have Distinct Role in Fall Prevention for Patients

Pharmacy Times

Pharmacists play a significant role in early identification, continuous monitoring, and interventions to help minimize the risk of falls in older adults.

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Pharmacists Are Transforming and Optimizing HIV Treatment

Pharmacy Times

Regardless of a pharmacist’s practice site or type, they play an integral role in ensuring the treatment success of patients with HIV.

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Scientists document first-ever transmitted Alzheimer’s cases, tied to no-longer-used medical procedure

STAT

LONDON — There was something odd about these Alzheimer’s cases. Part of it was the patients’ presentations: Some didn’t have the classic symptoms of the condition. But it was also that the patients were in their 40s and 50s, even their 30s, far younger than people who normally develop the disease. They didn’t even have the known genetic mutations that can set people on the course for such early-onset Alzheimer’s.