Drugs in the graveyard increase costs

Drugs in the graveyard increase costs

This week we learned that Merck & Co. was ending the Phase III APECS study of Verubecestat (formerly known as MK-8931) for the treatment of prodromal Alzheimer Disease. Yet another drug in AD graveyard!! Being this now a relatively common fact in the development on AD therapies, there are several immediate consequences that would need to be borne in mind for the future: first, investors will pot a much higher tag to their lending offers, making cost of capital more expensive, and therefore less new ideas being pursued. Hence, the natural chances of finding a solution less likely, hence a potential successful story having more value. Second: a potentially successful research story will want to capitalise on their unique success, and investors will request higher return on their investment, therefore pushing even more the facial prices of drugs. Given the large target population and previous failures it looks like this will be rather high, and the budget impact simply unbearable. Can healthcare systems cope with that? The need is clear, but the willingness to pay is limited. As in basic economics, demand and supply seem not to meet, so everyone unhappy. Should we not ask for a shared vision on what are the needed investments and where is there potential payment. Some urgent reforms are needed if we want success stories in areas of high demand / need. If we’re happy to play at the margins, current system may be acceptable for many, certainly not for patients, nor taxpayers. Oriol.    ...
Health Literacy, the resist subject

Health Literacy, the resist subject

According to WHO’s definition, Health literacy refers to the ability of individuals to “gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health” for themselves, their families and their communities. Between 2009-2012 several countries in Europe participated in the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) project1. A review of the project by the European Commission in 2015 showed that in Europe we need to pay more attention to Health Literacy. In addition, we are not training our healthcare professionals in the management of low health literacy. In the United States, for instance, there are residency programs, for doctors, as well as for nurses and pharmacists, that already include health literacy within their curriculum. Should we not work with our decisionmakers to foster appropriate access to appropriate care? There is a lot of work to do to understand the increasing complexity of healthcare, and how to streamline it to achieve equitable health....
Apps in Africa? Yes, but…

Apps in Africa? Yes, but…

Sometimes, when we think about a new app or technology that will be useful for improving health in African people, we don’t consider the applicability that this app will have. We imagine a super-app that will resolve the problem for which it has been designed, which will be cost-effective, easy to use and that everybody will use. But the reality is very different. Yes, the app is perfect, but it’s primarily perfect for its use in developed countries. It’s important to have in mind that in Africa they don’t have the same Internet access as us. The population only represents 10% of Internet users in the world. Besides, its global Internet penetration rate is about 31,2%, according to 2017 data, although in countries like Kenya or South-Africa the rates are higher, at 89,4% and 54% respectively. So, maybe we should consider the whole scene before planning a new app. We are so used to having Internet access always that we don’t think that this doesn’t happen everywhere. Biblio: Internet World Stats. Internet Users Statics for Africa [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2018 Jan 15]. Available from:...