Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘pharma’ Category

Amazon PillPack

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CNBC is reporting that Amazon will acquire online pharmacy PillPack “in a deal that could disrupt the U.S. drugstore business.

PillPack’s core business is the packing, organizing, and delivery of drugs, and sends consumers packages with the specific number of medications they’re supposed to take at specific times.

CNBC writes that:

The deal is the strongest indication yet of Amazon’s intent to move further into the health-care industry. It threatens to remove one of the few distinguishing factors pharmacy chains have relied on to fend off Amazon, the sale of prescription drugs. Retailers like Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health and Rite Aid have seen their so-called “front of store” sales threatened as shoppers increasingly buy household staples online or from convenience stores.

PillPack is currently licensed to ship prescriptions in 49 states, and apparently PillPack had been in previous discussions with Walmart about a sale for less than $1 billion.

Terms of the Amazon deal were not disclosed.

Written by turbotodd

June 28, 2018 at 8:59 am

CVS to Buy Aetna in $69 Billion Deal

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CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion, in a deal that would combine the drugstore with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States, according to a report from The New York Times.

The merger comes at a time of turbulent transformation in health care. Insurers, hospitals and pharmacy companies are bracing for a possible disruption in government programs like Medicare as a result of the Republicans’ plan to cut taxes. Congress remains at an impasse over the future of the Affordable Care Act, while employers and consumers are struggling under the weight of rising medical costs, including the soaring price of prescription drugs. And rapid changes in technology have raised the specter of new competitors — most notably Amazon. A combined CVS-Aetna could position itself as a formidable figure in this changing landscape. Together, the companies touch most of the basic health services that people regularly use, providing an opportunity to benefit consumers. CVS operates a chain of pharmacies and retail clinics that could be used by Aetna to provide care directly to patients, while the merged company could be better able to offer employers one-stop shopping for health insurance for their workers.
– via www.nytimes.com

 

But as the Times goes on to observe, critics worry customers could find their healthcare choices sharply limited (i.e., less choice of where to fill a prescription or get care if so many roads lead through a combined CVS/Aetna.

But in the announcement, the companies pointed out clear synergies that would benefit patients:

the two companies emphasized their ability to transform CVS’s 10,000 pharmacy and clinic locations into community-based sites of care that would be far less expensive for patients. “We think of it as creating a new front door to health care in America,” CVS Health’s chief executive, Larry J. Merlo, said in an interview. The merger would establish a new way of delivering care, with nurses, pharmacists and others available to counsel people about their diabetes or do the lab work necessary to diagnose a condition, Mr. Merlo said. “We know we can make health care more affordable and less expensive.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Looming in the background, the Times observes, a lingering Amazon and Jeff Bezos, rumored to be preparing for an entry into the pharmacy business.

As to antitrust considerations, both companies played down the prospect of regulation, arguing that the takeover is a “vertical merger” combining companies in two different industries.

Written by turbotodd

December 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

Studying the Life Sciences Supply Chain

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IBM has been conducting a number of studies across numerous industries in order to better understand the lay of the land for our smarter planet initiative.

Most recently, we examined the pharmaceutical industry, where we found (and with little surprise) that reducing the risk of countereit drugs and contaminated medications amidst the complexity of global manufacturing are among the top concerns of the pharma and life sciences industries.

The study surveyed executives at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and consumer health care industry companies who are responsible for planning, logistics, procurement and coordination throughout the life of a drug or medical device.

Some of the other key findings:

  • More than 50 percent of executives polled say their companies fail to respond quickly enough to pandemics and other emergencies because of lapses in their supply chain.
  • 64 percent reported rising customer demands such as requests for designer drugs or specialized packaging as a major challenge
  • Monitoring risk to prevent counterfeiting, drug and device recalls, or even the loss of intellectual property, is a priority for 75 percent of executives, as margins become slimmer and supply chain complexity rises. Three-quarters have risk and performance initiatives such as surveillance programs, anti-tamper devices and specialized labeling, but with mixed results.
  • 46 percent consider vendor-managed inventory for their customers extremely effective but only 4 percent use it to ensure they are precisely meeting customer demands for products
  • 65 percent collaborate with suppliers on demand planning but only 31 percent do so with customers, often resulting in an overstock of supplies or missed sales targets

The study revealed that companies must work to improve their ability to keep wholesalers, hospitals and pharmacies stocked with the products they need to meet patient demand.

Tracking every step of how drugs are manufactured and distributed are key priorities for more than 70 percent of companies.

And while the industry is far ahead of most others when it comes to supply chain planning with suppliers, the study indicates the industry falls far behind on collaborating with customers on demand planning, forecasting and replenishment. These are all critical steps to rapidly responding with new vaccines in the event of pandemics, and to ensure that demand does not outstrip supply.

Compared to 18 other key industries, the life sciences business is one of the most highly globalized, particularly in the area of Research and Development. From a supply chain perspective, the industry is not as advanced.

In general, global sourcing brings with it challenges including daunting capacity, quality, lead times and delivery issues. For the life sciences industry, seventy-six percent of respondents suffer quality issues linked to global sourcing while nearly fifty percent reported increased sales from their globalization efforts due to the growing population of consumers in rapidly developing markets.

More pharmaceutical companies are selling drugs, devices, therapies and services supplied by different partners. They are also serving smaller patient segments, rather than relying on major new drug discoveries that drive revenue over many years.

The IBM study underscores the fact that drug manufacturer supply chains need to be more interconnected and intelligent, equipped with sensors and smart devices that share data so they can rapidly change their business models to address new market opportunities.

Counterfeiting is one of the biggest risks facing the pharmaceutical industry today. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 10 percent of the worldwide drug supply is counterfeit.

To combat such risks, sophisticated simulations and data models help companies calculate risk, and building intelligence into products and packaging such as barcodes, RFID tags and other smart devices, supply chain executives can prevent theft.

This type of new intelligence along with e-pedigree and track-and-trace capabilities also enables the entire supply chain to respond quickly in the event of a recall.

Using smarter, more intelligent supply chain systems that connect suppliers, manufacturers, distribution and customers can more effectively allocate inventory around the world, making real-time adjustments in production and distribution and avoiding costly stockpiles.

And with the help of sensors and other smart devices to communicate and share information, new efficiencies can be attained.

By way of example, smart pallets of flu medication can sense what and how much medication they are carrying, monitor proper levels of refrigeration and storage, and automatically send a signal when the pallet needs to be replenished.

A smarter supply chain helps drug companies capitalize on revenue opportunities in emerging markets while more advanced customer insight allows firms to tailor their products and create new drugs, devices and even diagnostic tools to expand their business.

The study — “The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future: Life Sciences Edition” — was developed by IBM Global Business Services’ Supply Chain Management Practice, in conjunction with the IBM Institute for Business Value, which develops fact-based strategic insights for senior business executives.

IBM will host a webinar featuring AMR Research — “Smarter Medicine: The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future” — on September 10 that will provide insight about how Smarter Supply Chain Management can drive innovation into the health care and life sciences industries.

Written by turbotodd

September 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm

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