Archive for November 2013

Trends in Pharma Marketing: Re-Packaging Old Drugs

For many companies, marketing is no longer about mass distribution. It’s about tracking micro trends and reaching out to smaller, more niche demographics.  Nowadays, the marketing messages we receive are based on very specific criteria, like age, occupation, income level, and the last item we searched for on Google. So why does Big Pharma rely on out-dated techniques? Many industry giants still use the “door-to-door” approach where reps hand out starter samples to doctors, and television campaigns urge a wide spectrum of viewers to “ask their doctor” for new drug prescriptions. However, smaller pharmaceutical companies are finding ways to stay.. READ MORE »

High Tech Labs: Revolutionizing the Clinician’s Toolbox

From mapping genomes to new software for monitoring trials, new technologies are revolutionizing the every-day business of clinical research. The emphasis is on efficiency and accuracy: innovators are looking for ways to minimize errors in diagnostics and trial management, while maintaining patient health as the highest priority. This week we profile two technological advancements in clinical laboratory tools that achieve that delicate balance. The first tool upgrades diagnostics from manual to molecular, while the second provides project teams with a full-service trial management system that is rapidly closing the gap on error and oversight during clinical trials.   Molecular Diagnostics:.. READ MORE »

From Molecules to Manure: Uncovering a Cure for Allergies

Watery eyes, scratchy throat, angry rashes. From pesky annoyance to life threatening reaction: how many of us suffer from allergies? Health Canada says that non-food allergies have become chronic in people over the age of twelve. Over 65 million Americans have some sort of allergy, and in Europe over 87 million people struggle to control allergen sensitivities. Controlling allergies is a big business, and because typical treatments only ease symptoms rather than eliminating the root cause, allergies continue to torment their victims. On the quest for a definitive cure, researchers are on the lookout for new data and permanent solutions… READ MORE »

The Long and Winding Road: Demystifying the Food Supply Chain

Where exactly does your food come from?  With increasingly convoluted global supply chains, it’s hard to determine the twists and turns our last meal took on its journey from transport to table. According to the FDA, there are 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths a year from food-borne illnesses. Health Canada estimates that each year, roughly 4 million people get sick from consuming contaminated food.  In 2012, Canada was forced to recall nearly 2000 beef products, the largest recall in its history, when the meat was found to be contaminated with E. coli. Officials were criticized for taking over 10 days.. READ MORE »

Mapping out the Future: Funding Boost for Canadian Genomics Initiatives

Since the first successful sequencing of the human genome in 2003, technology has evolved to make DNA mapping faster and more cost-effective than ever. In the health care sector, genomics has paved the way for customized therapies for patients suffering from a range of illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, neurological conditions, and cardiovascular disease. A more complete understanding of a patient’s genetic map means more effectively targeted drugs and a more efficient health care system. Students currently enrolled in pharmaceutical courses will emerge into a marketplace where customizable drug therapies are a booming business. The power to examine the genomes.. READ MORE »

Designer Drugs: Risky Synthetics Flood the Canadian Market

Health Canada recently issued a warning regarding the dangers of psychoactive drugs, in particular synthetic blends that replicate the effects of controlled substances. The development and distribution of synthetics falls within a legal grey area, and has sparked new debate about how the government should regulate this new “market.” Without the safety measures associated with pharmaceutical quality control, synthetic psychoactive drugs like Acetyl Fentanyl are developed and sold with little knowledge regarding their safety or effects on users.  Psychoactive drugs impact brain functioning, and cause changes in mood and behavior; they are usually prescribed to treat physical and psychological disorders… READ MORE »

All About CETA and You

This month, after years of discussion, Canada signed a Canada-EU Free Trade deal. The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is testing the waters for dropping import tariffs on everything from cars to food in trade between Canada and the European Union’s member states.  Part of the agreement includes pharmaceutical imports, which is, understandably, a game changer for the industry. At this stage in negotiations, this includes establishing working groups to resolve differences in Canadian and European standards, not necessarily topics such as pharmaceutical quality assurance, which is already more or less in sync, but to help facilitate negotiations of the.. READ MORE »

Full Service Pharmacies Continue To Expand Their Role in New Brunswick

At AAPS, we’re always interested in the changing way that medical services are provided. We touched on phenomena of full service pharmacies before, and this looks like a trend that’s not going away. While the basic role of a pharmacist is to dispense prescribed and over the counter medications, as well as provide oversight of patient health by watching for conflicting medication, providing additional pharmaceutical quality control when it comes to dose levels and making sure that customers are educated about the hows and whys of the medications they take, full service pharmacies offer everything from smoking cessation and weight.. READ MORE »

Pharmaceutical Studies: A Frontrunner in Marketability

It was once believed that a university degree was all Canadians needed to secure relatively stable and desirable employment. But these days, students are graduating at the top of their class only to find themselves at the end of an unemployment line. A rocky economy and the changing landscape of post-secondary education have made choosing a program of study more confusing than ever.  In June of 2013, CBC News reported that unemployment rates for recent grads were at 14.5% and rising. Conditions are no better across the border, where the Wall Street Journal reported that last year 284,000 American college.. READ MORE »

Therapeutics Initiative Funding Attempts Gets International Attention

Last year in October, the province of BC defunded the Therapeutics Initiative program, an independent institution to monitor the effects of prescription pharmaceutical drugs. TI is also attached to the University of British Columbia’s Department of Family Practice, and had been working in this capacity since 1994. Defunding from the province did not kill the program. Instead, UBC picked up the shortfall, but TI garnered itself international attention as they campaigned for recognition, nationally and internationally, earning a mention in the prestigious British Medical Journal, as well as an open letter from doctors and research scientists from around the world,.. READ MORE »