What Amazon’s foray into the pharmacy business could mean for Big Pharma

Image courtesy of Amazon

“We bring the pharmacy to you.” 

That’s a recent advertising slogan from online shopping behemoth Amazon (NSDQ:AMZN), which unveiled its plan to deliver prescriptions in November. 

One of the key selling points of its service is prescription savings. The company promises that Amazon Prime members who pay without insurance can save anywhere from 80% of generics and 40% off brand name medications. 

The company could ultimately influence pricing dynamics throughout the industry, but it could be some time before the company makes its presence felt. “Amazon is at the very early stage of offering prescription drugs, and they are a long way off from having pricing power with Big Pharma,” said Avenue7Media CEO and e-commerce expert Jason Boyce. 

By selling common drugs at low prices, the company could put indirect pricing pressure on pharmaceutical manufacturers while al…

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House committee investigates $70M federal contract for AutoMedx ventilators

The AutoMedx SAVe II+ ventilator (Image from AutoMedx)

A Congressional committee has launched an investigation into a $70 million White House contract for ventilators that reportedly are inadequate to treat people with COVID-19.

The Department of Defense signed a $16.2 million contract in spring 2020 to buy SAVe II ventilators, manufactured by AutoMedx (Addison, Tex.), from the supplier Combat Medical Systems, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Soon after this contract was signed, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reportedly concluded that the SAVe II ventilator model was inadequate to treat coronavirus patients, a news release from the committee says.

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

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House committee investigates $70M federal contract for AutoMedx ventilators

The AutoMedx SAVe II+ ventilator (Image from AutoMedx)

A Congressional committee has launched an investigation into a $70 million White House contract for ventilators that reportedly are inadequate to treat people with COVID-19.

The Department of Defense signed a $16.2 million contract in spring 2020 to buy SAVe II ventilators, manufactured by AutoMedx (Addison, Tex.), from the supplier Combat Medical Systems, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Soon after this contract was signed, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reportedly concluded that the SAVe II ventilator model was inadequate to treat coronavirus patients, a news release from the committee says.

HHS asked for an improved ventilator and AutoMedx made “performance modifications” to the SAVe II, including increased volume rate and air pressure, to create the SAVe II+ and the FDA gran…

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Edwards Lifesciences misses on earnings in Q4

Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) posted fourth-quarter earnings this evening that missed the consensus forecast on Wall Street, though the company met revenue expectations.

The Irvine, Calif.–based cardio device company reported profits of $309.5 million, or 49¢ per share, on sales of $1.19 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, for a bottom-line gain of 10.5% on sales growth of 1% compared with Q4 2019.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 50¢, missing –3¢ off The Street, where analysts were looking EPS of 53¢ on sales of $1.19 billion.

Sales were flat for Edwards’ flagship TAVR products, which saw only 2% growth in the quarter as the latest COVID-19 pandemic wave delayed procedures. Overall Edwards sales were up nearly 1%, to $4.386 billion, in 2020.

“Despite unprecedented challenges in 2020, I’m proud of our team’s steadfast dedication to patients and advancing Edwards’ long-term str…

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Using technology to improve efficiency and safety in pharma manufacturing

Image courtesy of Nymi

The pandemic has amplified the pressure pharmaceutical companies face to improve operational performance while also forcing them to accelerate innovation, clinical trials and production. All of this requires employees to work as efficiently as possible.

Technology is available to meet these needs while also helping pharma companies respond to new worker safety challenges. Within pharma facilities, workers want to touch fewer surfaces and minimize their interactions. Accomplishing these goals requires deploying hands-free systems, conducting self-health attestations before shifts, and enforcing social distancing and contact tracing procedures.

Efficiency and safety are not mutually exclusive goals. Businesses that fall short in these areas risk their brand reputation, bottom line and employees’ lives. While many companies previously addressed individual challenges using point sol…

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COVID-19 assays sales power Hologic to Street-beating Q1

Hologic (NSDQ:HOLX) shares ticked up after hours today on first-quarter results that topped the consensus forecast.

The Marlborough, Mass.-based company posted profits of $653.4 million, or $2.50 per share, on sales of $1.6 billion for the three months ended Dec. 26, 2020, for a 69.4% bottom-line gain on sales growth of 89.3%.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were $2.86, 69¢ ahead of Wall Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $1.4 billion.

Hologic continues to benefit from demand for its two COVID-19 assays that run on its Panther and Panther Fusion systems as its worldwide molecular diagnostics business brought in $995.3 million for an increase of 457.6% year-over-year.

“Hologic had a strong start to fiscal 2021 across all our businesses and major geographies,” Hologic chairman, president & CEO Steve MacMillan said in a news release. “Our Diagnostics division continued to deliver incredible performance by maki…

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Stryker beats the Street on earnings but misses on revenue in Q4

Stryker (NYSE:SYK) posted fourth-quarter earnings this evening that beat the consensus forecast on Wall Street, but the company missed slightly on revenue.

The Kalamazoo, Mich.–based orthopedic device giant — the world’s largest — reported profits of $568 million, or $1.49 per share, on sales of $4.262 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, for a bottom-line slide of –21.7% on sales growth of 3.2% compared with Q4 2019.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were $2.81, 26¢ ahead of The Street, where analysts were looking EPS of $2.55 on sales of $4.33 billion.

Orthopedic device companies have been especially hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic as hospitals and patients alike held off on elective procedures. But Stryker appears to have weathered the tough times better than its competitors. Sales ticked down –3.6%, to 14.351 billion, for all of 2020.

“In spite of COVID-19 outbreaks that intensified through t…

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How CGMs can inspire lifestyle changes

Dexcom G6 transmitter

As an early adopter of fitness trackers such as the FitBit, I’ve long appreciated the power of health data. But my recent experience with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has done far more to inspire me to look after my health — even as a nondiabetic.

I had heard about the potential of such technology before from the cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, who serves on the board of Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM), and the entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, who has discussed using the technology as a non-diabetic to optimize weight loss and muscle gain.

But I have only recently had the chance to evaluate CGM as part of Dexcom’s “Hello Dexcom” sample program that enables patients to try out the company’s G6 CGM at no cost. The goal of the program is to increase awareness among healthcare providers and consumers.

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Delivery Business.

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How CGMs can inspire lifestyle changes

Dexcom G6 transmitter

As an early adopter of fitness trackers such as the FitBit, I’ve long appreciated the power of health data. But my recent experience with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has done far more to inspire me to look after my health — even as a nondiabetic.

I had heard about the potential of such technology before from the cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, who serves on the board of Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM), and the entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, who has discussed using the technology as a non-diabetic to optimize weight loss and muscle gain.

But I have only recently had the chance to evaluate CGM as part of Dexcom’s “Hello Dexcom” sample program that enables patients to try out the company’s G6 CGM at no cost. The goal of the program is to increase awareness among healthcare providers and consumers.

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Delivery Business.

Read more
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How CGMs can inspire lifestyle changes

G6 from Dexcom

As an early adopter of fitness trackers such as the FitBit, I’ve long appreciated the power of health data. But my recent experience with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has done far more to inspire me to look after my health — even as a nondiabetic.

I had heard about the potential of such technology before from the cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, who serves on the board of Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM), and the entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, who has discussed using the technology as a non-diabetic to optimize weight loss and muscle gain.

But I have only recently had the chance to evaluate CGM as part of Dexcom’s “Hello Dexcom” sample program that enables patients to try out the company’s G6 CGM at no cost. The goal of the program is to increase awareness among healthcare providers and consumers.

The G6 device,  pictured above, provides blood glucose readings every 5 minutes for 10 days via a smartphone app or dedicated receiver.

Brian Buntz

Mode…

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Johnson & Johnson gearing up for COVID-19 vaccine data announcement

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is poised to announce new data related to its Ad26 COVID-19 vaccine early next week. 

In an earnings call yesterday, management hinted that they expect results from the vaccine to be positive but stopped short at revealing details.

“We think it’s very important to follow the data — to follow the science,” said JNJ CEO Alex Gorsky after declining to answer a question related to COVID-19 variants and vaccine efficacy until the official data announcement.

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Discovery & Development.

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Sanofi to provide COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing for rival Pfizer

Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) announced today that it entered into an agreement to support the manufacturing and supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine is one of two to receive FDA emergency use authorization in the U.S. and it also has clearance in Europe, having received both nods in December 2020.

The deal between Sanofi provides BioNTech access to its infrastructure and expertise to produce over 125 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. Initial supplies will originate from Sanofi’s production facilities in Frankfurt starting in the summer of 2021, according to a news release.

Get the full story at our sister site, Pharmaceutical Processing World.

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