Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pharmalot's Ed Silverman Has a Nice Update On The British Columbia Januvia® Reimbursement Flap

As always, Ed's fact checking is impeccable. You may rely upon his reporting without question.

So do read yesterday's excellent "later developments" piece on this story -- which originally broke in August of 2014. Merck has paid doctors to complete a survey, in order to counter the ministry positions. Yawn. Do go read it all -- but here's a bit:

. . . .Approximately 4,500 specialists and general practitioners who were surveyed noted that between 25% and 30% of their patients expressed confusion, anxiety or unease about the move. About half of the doctors indicated they expected patients to stop taking their medication and 69% felt that patients who were doing well on Januvia should have been excluded from the change in coverage.

The survey, however, is causing its own ruckus.

“Obviously, we have concerns about this survey conducted and supported by Merck in terms of its lack of objectivity and the fact that physicians had a very small response rate, and physicians were paid to respond, and [there was] a failure to really disclose a connection between the surveyors and the drug company,” Terry Lake, the health minister in British Columbia, tells The Vancouver Sun. “We feel the survey is really a lobbying effort on the part of a large pharmaceutical company. . . .”

We will keep an eye on this -- here's our prior item on it all.

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