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Dave Canty, PhD

Recent Posts by Dave Canty, PhD

July 10, 2017

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Categories: Global Healthcare

Med-Sci Matters by Dr. Dave

A lot of interesting news on multiple fronts in the last 10 days! A couple of surprisingly very positive studies in the cardiovascular area, promising findings on personalized therapies for cancer, how health insurance literally saves lives, use of artificial intelligence for accelerating drug development, how the recent global ransomware attacks hit some in the health care sector, a major study on the opioid addiction epidemic, studies related to longer lifespans, and some tidbits. HDL drug finally makes good We all know HDLs are the “good cholesterol” in the bloodstream, and raising their levels – e.g., by increasing exercise or drinking moderately – protects against CVD. Most CVD drugs don’t raise HDLs much except for an investigational class called CETP inhibitors, which can impressively increase HDLs by more than 100%. CETP stands for “cholesterol ester transfer protein” and is a key component of HDLs, allowing them to hand off their cholesterol to other lipoproteins. CETP inhibitors block that transfer and – somehow – raise HDL levels. Yet, years of studies with several CETP inhibitors basically failed – in fact, some actually increased CVD risk. Until now. Bucking that history, Merck’s recently announced initial results from REVEAL – a large, randomized,Continue Reading

June 12, 2017

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Categories: Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Patient Communications

Med-Sci Matters by Dr. Dave

Pricey ads? At AMA’s meeting now underway, members will vote on a resolution to persuade FDA, FCC and FTC that retail prices of drugs must be included in all direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads.  The proposal can be found here.  Among the reasons for the recommendation, the proposal cites: US drug prices are higher than in any other country Prescription rates of DTC-advertised drugs have increased by 34.2% compared to only 5.1% for non-DTC-advertised drugs In a free-enterprise system, the purchasing public should be educated AMA has a history of opposing DTC ads for drugs, noting the only other country that allows it is New Zealand. Coincidentally, on June 14, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee will hold a hearing on drug pricing that will include discussions with experts and will dissect how prices are determined. Read More: CafePharma, STAT, MedPage Today, The Hill (about HELP committee hearing) Better payments for better outcomes? In an interesting development related to pricing, UnitedHealth’s Optum unit signed a multiyear agreement with Merck to develop models for reimbursement based on patient outcomes. The initiative will use real-world data to co-develop and test predictive models and co-design agreements to reduce clinical and financial uncertaintyContinue Reading