Author Archives: Tony Jewell

Please Visit Our New Blog – AZ&You

You can find the new blog here.

Thank you!

PhRMA campaign spotlights scientists

PhRMA launches a new campaign called "i am science."

PhRMA launches a new campaign called “i am science.”

PhRMA, our industry’s trade association, launched a new initiative this week called “i am science,” aimed at introducing the people who are working daily to discover the next generation of medicines.

PhRMA President & CEO John Castellani explains:

As an industry, we need to do a better job of telling our story – who we are, what we believe in, and why the work we are doing is so important.  If we don’t, we will continue to be misunderstood and the full value of innovative medicines may not be recognized.

A good starting point is to put a spotlight on biopharmaceutical scientists who every day work hard to discover and research new potential medicines to help improve and save millions of patients’ lives.

After all, scientists are the heart and soul of the biopharmaceutical enterprise. Without scientists, our industry – and the life-saving therapies it develops – would cease to exist. …

The good news is that through a new initiative called “I AM SCIENCE”, we are bringing the scientists to your living room, office, classrooms and just about anywhere there is Internet access so that you can meet those who are responsible for developing transformative medicines that can help you, a family member or a friend fight disease.

Click on over and have a look at the initiative, along with videos of scientists telling their stories.

Promoting collaboration at BIO 2013

Watch as Chris Yochim, director of external relations at AstraZeneca, discusses efforts to promote collaboration between industry and academia at the BIO 2013 International Convention in Chicago.

Watch video stream of PhRMA meeting

phrmaThe Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s annual meeting is underway in San Diego, bringing together the industry’s innovators and researchers with key external stakeholders.

You can watch a live video stream of the meeting at the PhRMA website, where you can also see a Twitter stream, Flickr photos and vote in polls.

Click here for a compete schedule of the meeting.


AZ helped patients save $1.2 billion on medicines in 2012

AstraZeneca helped patients save $1.2 billion through its prescription savings programs in 2012.

AstraZeneca helped patients save $1.2 billion through its prescription savings programs in 2012.

AstraZeneca announced today that it helped 562,000 patients save $1.2 billion on nearly 4.6 million free prescriptions through its AZ&Me Prescription Savings programs in 2012.

See the table below for details on how many patients in each state received free medicines from AstraZeneca through the programs.

“At AstraZeneca, we believe it is not enough to simply make medicines,” said Jennifer McGovern, Director, Patient Assistance Programs. “We work with patients and caregivers to help make sure that people who need our medicines have access to them – including by providing them free to qualifying patients under our prescription savings programs.”

AstraZeneca’s prescription savings programs include:

  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for people without insurance: AstraZeneca medicines are provided at no cost to qualifying individuals without prescription drug coverage and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $70,000 for a family of four.
  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for people with Medicare Part D: AstraZeneca medicines are provided at no cost to qualifying individuals enrolled in Medicare Part D and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $48,000 for a couple.
  • AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities: AstraZeneca medicines are provided in bulk at no cost to qualifying nonprofit organizations, such as disproportionate share hospitals, community health centers, and community free clinics that have an on-site, nonretail, outpatient licensed pharmacy or dispensary.  Qualifying individuals without prescription drug coverage, through private insurance or government programs, and who have an annual income at or below $35,000 for an individual or $70,000 for a family of four may obtain their AstraZeneca medicines for free from these facilities.

Here are state by state details (click on the state name to see the full news release for that state):

Patients Value Prescriptions
Alabama 11,186 $24,293,948 96,921
Alaska 309 $941,977 2,784
Arizona 1,853 $5,908,769 18,060
Arkansas 7,398 $17,984,917 72,272
California 20,276 $46,329,788 151,172
Colorado 14,874 $27,224,197 96,094
Connecticut 1,020 $2,664,950 9,334
Delaware 565 $1,436,751 5,840
DC 48 $204,463 681
Florida 50,597 $109,158,857 406,465
Georgia 30,450 $64,696,429 228,812
Hawaii 192 $577,681 2,026
Idaho 3,824 $9,721,643 34,979
Illinois 19,224 $44,827,122 157,549
Indiana 19,968 $38,446,814 170,104
Iowa 10,282 $21,222,745 68,424
Kansas 4,872 $14,491,779 48,462
Kentucky 16,239 $36,660,862 153,623
Louisiana 27,858 $46,396,296 195,828
Maine 1,594 $3,804,794 16,042
Maryland 2,111 $5,560,306 20,892
Massachusetts 581 $1,854,730 5,773
Michigan 13,922 $37,428,694 129,910
Minnesota 1,191 $3,295,911 10,646
Mississippi 6,480 $16,305,149 57,916
Missouri 12,747 $29,406,995 109,791
Montana 2,298 $4,799,158 18,881
Nebraska 2,994 $8,174,557 27,867
Nevada 1,720 $3,779,024 12,140
N. Hampshire 2,597 $6,805,106 30,277
New Jersey 3,870 $10,657,358 36,766
New Mexico 1,490 $4,030,701 12,160
New York 5,059 $14,175,725 49,862
North Carolina 35,663 $79,627,757 316,135
North Dakota 902 $2,355,260 8,517
Ohio 30,975 $69,864,428 256,345
Oklahoma 6,254 $19,288,186 53,172
Oregon 4,519 $11,910,762 40,357
Pennsylvania 10,805 $27,722,205 102,691
Puerto Rico 527 $1,670,554 7,072
Rhode Island 1,315 $3,625,946 12,825
South Carolina 17,759 $37,327,407 140,145
South Dakota 1,116 $3,700,205 11,927
Tennessee 12,781 $41,269,206 119,864
Texas 85,059 $140,613,835 576,342
Utah 1,883 $6,401,974 17,857
Vermont 86 $225,236 755
Virgin Islands 4 $7,999 19
Virginia 32,956 $61,551,053 275,450
Washington 3,080 $9,438,314 27,622
West Virginia 10,917 $23,358,853 99,265
Wisconsin 5,734 $16,267,077 54,450
Wyoming 682 $1,623,883 5,063
Total 562,706 $1.2 billion 4,584,227

Patient program featured in Pharmaphorum

AD Logo_FinalSteven Davis, Executive Director, Foundation Brands, Cornerstone, recently spoke with Pharmaphorum about our commitment to providing patients with treatment options and affordable access to brand-name ARIMIDEX® (anastrozole).

We believe this is an important way for AstraZeneca to help meet customer needs in the US. Direct To Patient is about choice. It is about giving patients the choice to have the branded product. It may also help the physicians with fewer access-related hassles in prescribing brand-name ARIMIDEX.

Davis also highlighted the progress of the ARIMIDEX Direct patient program since its launch one year ago – and the motivation behind its foundation:

AstraZeneca develops many programs based on the specific needs of the patient and our business. ARIMIDEX lost patent exclusivity in 2010. Patients had called the AstraZeneca Information Center asking how they could get ARIMIDEX more affordably. AstraZeneca conducted research that confirmed that since ARIMIDEX has gone generic, many health care plans are no longer covering brand-name ARIMIDEX. Further, the price for generic anastrozole varies by retailer. ARIMIDEX Direct is a responsive program for patients electing to receive and pay for the brand ARIMIDEX on their own.

ARIMIDEX Direct allows eligible patients to get brand-name ARIMIDEX delivered to their door for $40 or less a month. To date, over 1,400 patients are using ARIMIDEX Direct.

The full Pharmaphorum article can be viewed here.

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‘Deep data,’ pharma and payers

MM&M takes a look at how pharmaceutical companies and payers are using "deep data."

MM&M takes a look at how pharmaceutical companies and payers are using “deep data” on to benefit patients.

Check out the cover story in the new Medical Marketing & Media, which takes a look at an issue that is very important to AstraZeneca: using data to inform how payers and providers evaluate medicines for coverage.

For instance, AstraZeneca has leveraged clinical evidence derived from administrative claims and (electronic health records) to look at the effect of formulary decisions on total cost of care for some late-stage commercial products.

“[We] showed that the removal of a branded medicine in our portfolio from the preferred-tier status actually resulted in higher overall costs, which were related to cost of office and [ER] visits as well as disease-state related tests,” reports Brian Sweet, AstraZeneca executive director of health alliances. Considering such study results has helped the company “solidify tier-placement decisions with respect to our medication that are more favorable than what you would expect with a generic market where we have to compete with a late-stage commercial product,” he adds.

Give the whole article a read, which looks at AstraZeneca’s real world evidence collaboration with HealthCore, the health outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. – as well as what is going on at other companies.

On Rare Disease Day, celebrating 30 years of orphan drugs

RDD_whiteBy Rachelle Benson

Rare Disease Day is an international advocacy day to raise awareness of rare diseases as a global health challenge.

Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Orphan Drug Act (ODA), named for its focus on orphan—or rare—diseases.

Individuals with rare diseases—more than 25 million in the US alone—may have struggled to obtain a proper diagnosis, find information, and get treatment due to the rarity of their conditions and lack of relevant medical research. With its approval in 1983, however, the ODA encouraged companies to develop medicines and diagnostic tools for rare diseases by providing financial incentives.

Between 1973 and 1983, less than 10 products for rare diseases were developed without government assistance. Since the Orphan Drug Act was enacted, more than 400 orphan products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With the help of patient advocacy organizations, especially the National Organization for Rare Disorders, advances have been made in areas such as research, legislation, and patient support.

Even with recent developments, however, there are approximately 6800 rare diseases that do not have an FDA-approved therapy. AstraZeneca is committed to fighting rare diseases through ongoing research, and in fact, AstraZeneca achieved FDA approval on its first orphan drug in 2011. We encourage you to join us by participating in Rare Disease Day on February 28. For more information, please visit

AstraZeneca CEO lays out his short term priorities

Pascal Soriot laid out his priorities for the coming months.

AstraZeneca released its third-quarter and nine months results this morning, and you can see all of the information here.

In presenting the information to reporters, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot provided a look at his priorities for his first months on the job:

In addition to the well known challenges that confront the pharmaceutical sector as a whole, the loss of exclusivity of several of our brands in major markets has largely defined our financial performance in the first nine months of 2012.  We will continue to meet these challenges with determination and focus to deliver against our targets.

In my first few months, I am working on three priorities:

First, getting out and visiting as many people as I can, particularly in our R&D and commercial organisations.

Second, meeting shareholders and other stakeholders, to clarify their expectations of the Company and of me in my new role.

And finally, to immerse myself in the ongoing annual strategy update.

On the final point, Soriot said he planned to take “as much time as necessary to engage with the organisation and work with the Board to see this strategy update to its conclusion.”

AstraZeneca releases half year results

AstraZeneca released second quarter and half year results for 2012 this morning, with Interim Chief Executive Officer Simon Lowth summing them up:

Despite the challenges – primarily as a result of the expected loss of exclusivity on some products – our underlying performance in first half of the year reflects the resilience of several of our brands and the benefits of disciplined cost management. We also made significant progress in bolstering our late-stage pipeline and on-market portfolio through external opportunities that represent a good strategic fit and add value.

Our long-term priorities for the business remain unchanged. We are driving the performance of brands that retain exclusivity, investing in markets with long-term potential, reshaping the cost base for sustainable competitiveness and remaining focused on improving the returns on our investments in innovation.

The full set of results and tables can be found here.

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