In the decade after Merck began selling its chickenpox vaccine in the U.S. the proportion of infants immunized against the virus rose to almost 90%. Yet immunized kids continued to catch chickenpox and the virus even killed two people who had received the vaccine. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on the success of the strategy it adopted to prevent such cases.
Any industry that's undergoing as much change as biopharma is always looking for leadership. Old marketing practices are being blown apart, R&D is being subjected to emergency surgery, drug prices surge ever higher, spurring a growing backlash from payers.
In this constantly shifting panorama you'll find a group of executives who are forging new paths for others to follow. This year, the third for Fierce, we present the men and women whose influence is being felt across the industry.
Influence, of course, isn't always a force for good. But it can be. To be truly influential in an industry, you need to be able to persuasively explain new methods that can exert a powerful hold on colleagues in the same global field. Some of this year's group have excelled in that regard.
We hope you enjoy this year's report. And please offer any suggestions you may have for next year's project on the influentials.
Chatting with the public is not in pharma's comfort zone. Drugmakers are adept at the one-way communication known as direct-to-consumer advertising, and some of them deal well with the media. Some even know how to work with patient groups. Back-and-forth with doctors? Pharma's daily bread.
But put your average, everyday drug company in the middle of a public conversation, and it freezes up. In fact, of the 50 largest drugmakers worldwide, only half even dabble in social media. Only 10 use all three of the oldest, biggest social sites--Facebook, Twitter and YouTube--according to a new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. And within that small group, few are actually interacting with patients and the public. Click here to read the full report >>
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While Finland agreed to pay out in 2011, the U.K. was still knocking back claimants in 2012. Now, though, the U.K. government is reportedly readying to pay 60 people $1.7 million each.
The success of Australia's HPV vaccination catch-up program has given the country a world-leading trove of real-world data on the effectiveness of Merck's Gardasil. By mining this database, researchers have estimated the vaccine halves the risk of young women developing high-grade cervical abnormalities.
Back in November, the GAVI Alliance added inactivated poliovirus vaccines to the list of products it makes available in the world's poorest countries. And with the conclusion of its tender process, UNICEF is adding its backing: The children's fund has struck a deal with Sanofi to supply the vaccine to GAVI-supported countries for as little as $1 per dose.
While childhood immunization rates show the vast majority of U.S. parents support vaccination, the country is dotted with clusters of people who think the risks outweigh the benefits. Reaching the 10% who decline the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is a challenge for healthcare authorities and research suggests there is no easy solution.
A team of U.S. and South African researchers has identified and cloned an antibody that targets one of the few unchanging regions of HIV.
The current flu season should have provided the first opportunity to gauge the impact of quadrivalent vaccines. However, the extra B strain in the quadrivalent vaccines has been rendered irrelevant by the almost total dominance of H1N1.
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