PharmaTimes -
February 2016

Editor's letter

It has been a busy month in the world of pharmaceuticals; a clinical trial went badly wrong resulting in the tragic death of one participant, regulators gave the green light to the first biosimilar of Pfizer/Amgen's Enbrel and, here in the UK, the health minister squared up for a fight with junior doctors - again. We cover these and all the other top stories in our News Review.

Here at PharmaTimes we learned a lot this month. In Shock Therapy (p26) we discovered that cheap nerve stimulators could replace blockbuster drugs in the treatment of severe inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. We also found out that while the majority of healthcare professionals favour the disclosure of payments made by pharma companies, a debate is raging in the industry about what this new level of transparency will look like. Read about it in An Open Relationship (p31).

Plus, our ever-opinionated SmartViews section taught us a few lessons. In A Problem Shared? (p15) KPMG advisor Sophia Turner makes the case for companies sharing their preclinical data in order to boost R&D productivity, while regular contributor Ana Nicholls from the Economist Intelligence Unit looks ahead at the year to come in A Bumpy Road Ahead (p20).

In our interview-based SmartPeople section, we tell three important stories; lupus patient and advocate Sally Kay (p41) talks about her personal experience with the disease, Mark Samuels from the National Institute for Health Research predicts great things ahead for UK R&D (p34) and Creston Health head Nicky Walsby tells pharma it needs to think outside the box if it wants to connect to the consumer (p36).

I hope your enjoy this issue of PharmaTimes.

Hugh Gosling


February 2016 - magazine highlights

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Sally Kay, regional coordinator for the North East Lupus Group, part of national charity LUPUS UK, talks to PharmaTimes about her experience with this little-understood disease

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There’s no such thing as a patient

Nicky Walsby, executive director of Health Unlimited, discusses the need for pharma to think outside the box and focus on the end consumer – and how those people shouldn’t be defined by their disease

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An open relationship

Moves to boost transparency in the relationships between healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies come to fruition this year, but what challenges and opportunities will disclosure create?

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Shock therapy

Will cheap nerve stimulators replace blockbuster biologics? Welcome to the exciting world of bioelectronics medicine

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Access denied

With the future of patient access schemes and flexible pricing under threat, pharma could do more ensure patients get access to their medicines

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Mutating science

Better understanding of the science behind rare genetic diseases could lead to new treatments in blockbuster disease areas

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Thinking outside the box

Proposed changes to the UK Patent Box scheme mean that businesses need to scrutinise their R&D activity more closely in order to qualify for future tax relief

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A bumpy road ahead?

Global health spending is recovering, but pharma will need  to watch out for increasing demand and stock market turmoil

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Chasing the consumer

Pharma needs to move at the speed of the consumer but to do this companies will need to harness a new set of skills

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When two become one

Pharma is being taken over by takeovers but  what can Boards do to keep their heads above water?

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A problem shared?

Research organisations are sitting on mountains of hidden data that could be used to improve research efforts across the sector – if they only shared it

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