Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 22.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44084" align="alignleft" width="135"]Chana A. Sacks, MD, MPH Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital Dr. Sacks[/caption] Chana A. Sacks, MD, MPH Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Combination pills combine multiple medications into a single dosage form. There have been case reports in recent years of high prices for certain brand-name combination drugs – even those that are made up of generic medications. Our study looks at this phenomenon in a systematic way using recently released Medicare spending data. We evaluated 29 combination drugs and found that approximately $925 million dollars could potentially have been saved in 2016 alone had generic constituents been prescribed as individual pills instead of using the combination products. For example, Medicare reported spending more than $20 per dose of the combination pill Duexis, more than 70 times the price of its two over-the-counter constituent medications, famotidine and ibuprofen. The findings in this study held true even for brand-name combination products that have generic versions of the combination pill. For example, Medicare reported spending more than $14 for each dose of brand-name Percocet for more than 4,000 patients, despite the existence of a generic combination oxycodone/acetaminophen product.
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis / 13.10.2015

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen MD Director Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program Cleveland Clinic Main CampusMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jeffrey Cohen MD Director Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program Cleveland Clinic Main Campus MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cohen: Medications are a major contributor to the high cost of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care.  As medications go off patent, there is the opportunity to develop generic versions with lower cost.  This trial was conducted after extensive in vitro and animal studies supported the equivalence of a generic glatiramer acetate to the brand drug Copaxone. The trial showed that generic and brand glatiramer acetate have equivalent efficacy as measured by MRI and clinical endpoints, safety, and tolerability.
Cleveland Clinic, Multiple Sclerosis / 16.09.2014

Jeffrey Cohen MD Department of Neurology Cleveland ClinicMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Jeffrey A. Cohen, MD Hazel Prior Hostetler Endowed Chair Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Director, Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research Neurological Institute Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH  44195 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cohen: The primary objective of the GATE trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of generic glatiramer acetate to the approved form (Copaxone) in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.  The study demonstrated equivalent efficacy of generic glatiramer acetate and Copaxone measured by gadolinium enhancing brain MRI lesions at months 7, 8, and 9 and a number of additional measures of MRI lesion activity.  The study also showed comparable safety (measured by adverse events) and injection site tolerability.