Pharma News – December 4, 2019

Your weekly dose of interesting tidbits from around the pharma web…


Amazon’s next big step in healthcare will be in voice transcription technology. Their new service called Amazon Transcribe Medical will record doctor-patient interactions and plug the text straight into the patient’s medical record. The service has built in punctuation and was created with the “domain specific language and abbreviations” that are common in the medical field in mind. The service is also HIPPA compliant and can be embedded into any device or app. (CNBC)


Elucid Health, maker of the “Pill Connect,” has reported a 100% success rate in a recent survey of their smart pill technology. The “Pill Connect” smart pill bottle connects to an app, which knows the prescribed dosage and regimen. Patients receive a reminder via the app and a pill is dispensed. Data is then passed back to doctors to help better track and support proper patient adherence. (PharmaTimes)


Only one PD-1 drug will be included on China’s National Reimbursement Drug List. Tyvyt from domestic firm Innovent Biologics and partner Eli Lilly won coverage after agreeing to slash prices by 64%. Merck & Co.’s Keytruda, Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo and local firm Junshi Biosciences’ Tuoyi all failed to cut deals with the Chinese government. The sole inclusion of Tyvyt suggests the pricing expectation from China’s National Healthcare Security Administration is pretty aggressive and they understand the fierce competition in the market. (FiercePharma)


GE Healthcare is expanding its presence in 3D printing, surgical robotics, and virtual care patient monitoring. The conglomerate announced its collaboration with Formlabs, a maker of 3D printers to prepare CT or MRI data for use in diagnosis and procedure planning. GE also says it’s participating in a funding round for CMR Surgical, developer of the minimally invasive Versius robotic system, while also investing in software company Decisio Health. GE’s intention with these new deals is to bring its diagnostic expertise and global scale to enable greater precision in patient care. (MedTechDive)


98% of the 34,000 local governments have agreed to be bound by a class action against companies such as drug distributor McKesson Corp, drug maker Johnson & Johnson, and pharmacy chain Walgreens. However, 541 local governments have opted out of the class action to pursue their own lawsuits. Many of these opt outs include areas there were hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis such as Florida’s Palm Beach county and counties in West Virginia. This raises the prospect that companies could face expensive trials even if they settle with the class. (Reuters)


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