2012 Drug Launches Suggest Reasons For Optimism
Launches in 2012 clearly reflect the changes in pharma’s R&D investment priorities in recent years, as the industry has shifted emphasis from primary-care blockbusters to more targeted specialty models. The group includes potential blockbusters like Xeljanz, a dozen novel oncologics, the first new obesity drug in over a decade, and several treatments for rare diseases.
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2012 was a record year for drug approvals; now many of those drugs approved last year and this year are launching and off to a strong start in the first three months of 2013.
More than a dozen new molecular entities launched for the treatment of cancer in 2012, advancing care for seriously ill people, but many carry price tags of $100,000 per year or more for treatment, escalating debate over cost of care and how best to direct limited healthcare resources.
Bristol/Pfizer’s Eliquis secures an attractive FDA label for atrial fibrillation on three key fronts: superior stroke prevention, reduced major bleeding and reduced all-cause mortality. With its superiority in preventing hemorrhagic strokes, Eliquis has the clear lead in terms of safety. But Boehringer’s competing Pradaxa remains the only new oral anticoagulant with proven superiority for preventing purely ischemic strokes, which is the main goal of atrial fibrillation treatment.