"Let's spend it, lend it, send it rolling around"
This week a report by IMS showed that in 2009, drug sales reached a lofty $300 billion with generic drugs taking over the market, accounting for 75 percent of all U.S. sales. However, with the high rates comes promise, as 32 advanced treatment options for cancer, thrombosis and atrial fibrillation (AF) were launched onto the market last year, only impacting costs by a mere 3.3 percent.
Additionally, a perspective in the Journal of the American Medical Association weighed the pros and cons of the additional indications approved by the FDA for use of rosuvastatin (Crestor) for asymptomatic patients. One con was price, which would average out to almost $140 per month, per patient to fill. However, one pro was providing a preventive measure towards reducing cardiovascular risks.
In other big spending news, the U.S. District Court of the District Court of Delaware ordered that Medtronic fork over almost $75 million after losing a two-year battle with Edwards Lifesciences for allegedly violating Edwards' Anderson patents with its CoreValve system. However, Medtronic quickly responded that it has already taken the necessary steps to file an appeal and keep selling its products in lieu of an injunction.
In other news, researchers have found that AF is linked to the development of dementia. In patients with AF, researchers found that Alzheimer’s developed at a younger age compared to those who didn't exhibit signs of the dysrhythmia. This is off-putting news for the electrophysiology community, as AF afflicts almost 400,000 new patients each year.
“The silver dollar has returned to the fold, with silver you can turn your dreams to gold," wrote Al Dubin (42nd Street). In a time when policymakers and leaders are attempting to put the kabosh on "unnecessary spending," the medical industry spends money in hopes of finding a silver lining, that being pivotal to patient care.
On these issues or others, please feel free to contact me.