Press review

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OTC drugs pushing pharma into advertising in Spain

Country : Germany, Ireland, Japan, U.S.

Keywords :
MADRID, Jan 12 (APM) - With an increasing number of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for the same disease, pharmaceutical firms have been forced to invest in advertising, an editorial on daily El País said on Wednesday.
There are a number of pharmaceutical companies and a number of remedies for the same problems, one for each brand. This causes confusion about the names of the drugs patients need. Many medicines have similar names and it is difficult to tell which might be better, the author said.
Custom, taste, form, dosage or thaving seen a product on television are decisive factors when active principles are practically the same.
Advertising is now part of the equation. It is essential to gain customer loyalty among clients who go into community pharmacies and have to choose between drugs. Advertising executives struggle to come up with ways to show the best features of these medicines, the author noted.
The rest of the article included examples of adverts for OTC drugs. It also included a picture of a campaign for better drug access by charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with the slogan ‘Medicines shouldn’t be a luxury’.

Generic firms in crisis

On Tuesday, daily La Vanguardia carried a lengthy story saying that lower prices and stagnant sales have hit Teva hard, showing that the whole generics sector is in crisis. (APMHE 56248)
The newspaper said: “Like Saturn devoured his sons, the generics industry devours its companies. Not even the leading firm, Teva, has been able to cope with the pressure of a business model challenged by continuous price cuts combined with fewer blockbusters losing their patents and slower growth in sales by unit”.
According to La Vanguardia, it is difficult for generics firms to grow because their market share is already high (60%) across developed countries in the world.
Jorge Bagán, from Deloitte consulting, told the newspaper the pressure to lower prices will continue because governments need this strategy to make public healthcare sustainable.
Ángel Luis Rodríguez de la Cuerda, director general of Spanish generics manufacturers association AESEG, added that the drops in prices leaves small profits, of around 2-3%.
In an unrelated Wednesday story, medical journal Redacción Médica reported that according to a recent study Andalusia is the leading Spanish region by generics penetration, with 45.7%.

Bayer to expand manufacturing plant near Madrid

Germany’s Bayer will increase the production capacity of its plant in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid, financial newspapers El Economista, Expansión and daily La Vanguardia report on Friday.
The plant, with 320 employees, will see its capacity increased by 40%. Company sources told El Economista the increase in demand and the firm’s upcoming launches made this necessary.
The manufacturing site exports 90% of its products to Europe, the U.S. and Japan, El Economista adds.

Pfizer to abandon research into Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease 

Pfizer has announced it will no longer invest in the development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, financial El Economista reported on Sunday (APMHE 56339).
Medical journal Redacción Médica carried the story on Monday, and daily ABC on Wednesday.
The firm’s last failed attempt to develop a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease was bapineuzumab, ABC noted.

Ibuprofen may affect reproductive health

On Tuesday, daily La Razón carried a lengthy story about a study by French medical research institute Inserm, whose authors suggest that using ibuprofen at high doses for a long time may cause infertility.
A daily dosage of 1,200 milligrams for six weeks has been linked to “severe endocrine side effects which lead to a state of hypogonadism”, the institute said in statement, the newspaper said.
This state is relatively common among elderly men, La Razón noted.

Ireland’s Shire in trouble

Shire’s shares fell 5% following the announcement of the company’s restructuring plan, financial El Economista reported on Sunday. (APMHE 56335)
The company announced its business will be split into two units, neuroscience and rare diseases. Results will be presented separately as of the first quarter.
The firm, based in London, operates mainly in the U.S., where the drop in share prices occurred at the time of Wall Street opening, the newspaper noted.
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