Howard Reid, VP of marketing for pulmonary hypertension at Janssen

J&J new so­cial me­dia se­ries sup­ports and cel­e­brates ‘war­rior’ nurs­es in pul­monary hy­per­ten­sion

Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, con­ver­sa­tions of­ten fo­cused on sup­port­ing health­care work­ers on the front­line. Now John­son & John­son’s Janssen is of­fer­ing sup­port to a dif­fer­ent kind of “PHront­line” work­er — nurs­es who care for pul­monary hy­per­ten­sion, or PH, pa­tients.

Janssen’s “PHront­line Con­ver­sa­tions” de­buted last week on Face­book Live with the first episode, in a planned se­ries, on man­ag­ing care and up-to-date ed­u­ca­tion on the rare high blood pres­sure con­di­tion. While typ­i­cal hy­per­ten­sion is high blood pres­sure in the ar­ter­ies through­out the body, PH is spe­cif­ic to the lungs.

PHront­line brings to­geth­er ex­pe­ri­enced and new PH nurs­es, along with ex­perts, from around the coun­try to com­pare notes and best prac­tices and build com­mu­ni­ty. The Face­book event was live last Thurs­day but re­mains avail­able for re­peat or new view­ers and has since got­ten 400 views, said Howard Reid, VP of mar­ket­ing for pul­monary hy­per­ten­sion at Janssen.

“Nurs­es in the com­mu­ni­ty may see on­ly a few PH pa­tients a year so stay­ing up to date on best prac­tices in the care and treat­ment of pa­tients is re­al­ly im­por­tant,” he said. “We al­so want to cel­e­brate and rec­og­nize these nurs­es. … They are war­riors. They don’t let any­thing get in their way to do every­thing in their pow­er to help these pa­tients live the best qual­i­ty life pos­si­ble.”

Dur­ing the kick­off event, two top­ics emerged as cen­tral to PH and nurs­ing. The first was the com­plex­i­ty in treat­ing the dis­ease, which was not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing not on­ly the nu­ances of the rare con­di­tion it­self but al­so the chal­lenges in di­ag­nos­ing and treat­ing it dur­ing the pan­dem­ic.

“Many pa­tients were con­cerned about go­ing to the hos­pi­tal or go­ing to the doc­tor so vir­tu­al care for pa­tients with PH was a re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing top­ic,” Reid said. “The nurs­es shared dif­fer­ent ap­proach­es to pa­tient man­age­ment dur­ing the pan­dem­ic and now that hope­ful­ly, we’re mov­ing to a dif­fer­ent stage, how they’re com­ing out of it and en­cour­ag­ing pa­tients to re­turn to care.”

The sec­ond top­ic, risk as­sess­ment, is an on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion in PH. While there are rec­om­mend­ed guide­lines for ob­jec­tive risk as­sess­ments, they’re not al­ways fol­lowed, Reid said. Health­care providers who have decades of ex­pe­ri­ence or have seen many PH pa­tients, still use their in­tu­ition in di­ag­nos­ing.

Janssen is look­ing to change that par­a­digm by dri­ving aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion around PH pa­tients.

“Treat­ing PH is a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary ap­proach,” Reid said. “But nurs­es play a crit­i­cal role in help­ing pa­tients get start­ed with their ther­a­py as well as the man­age­ment with their dis­ease long term,” adding that “of­ten­times pa­tients will call the nurse if they’re hav­ing a par­tic­u­lar­ly chal­leng­ing day to get ad­vice on how to best man­age their PH.”

Janssen has al­so adopt­ed a broad­er ap­proach for PH and PAH, a more spe­cif­ic pul­monary ar­te­r­i­al hy­per­ten­sion, to dri­ve gen­er­al aware­ness of the con­di­tions. Pa­tients, for ex­am­ple, share PH and PAH ex­pe­ri­ences on the Janssen “With Me” web­site, with some pro­mot­ed in JanssenUS so­cial me­dia posts.

The aware­ness work is un­brand­ed, but J&J does mar­ket Up­travi — ap­proved to treat pul­monary ar­te­r­i­al hy­per­ten­sion.

A new era of treat­ment: How bio­mark­ers are chang­ing the way we think about can­cer

AJ Patel was recovering from a complicated brain surgery when his oncologist burst into the hospital room yelling, “I’ve got some really great news for you!”

For two years, Patel had been going from doctor to doctor trying to diagnose his wheezing, only to be dealt the devastating news that he had stage IV lung cancer and only six months to live. And then they found the brain tumors.

“What are you talking about?” Patel asked. He had never seen an oncologist so happy.

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Cracks in the fa­cade: Is phar­ma's pan­dem­ic ‘feel good fac­tor’ wan­ing?

The discordant effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on pharma reputation continues. While the overall industry still retains a respectable halo from its Covid-19 quick response and leadership, a new patient group study reveals a different story emerging in the details.

On one hand, US patient advocacy groups rated the industry higher-than-ever overall. More than two-thirds (67%) of groups gave the industry a thumbs up for 2021, a whopping 10 percentage point increase over the year before, according to the PatientView annual study, now in its 9th year.

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Taye Diggs (courtesy Idorsia)

Idor­sia inks an­oth­er celebri­ty en­dors­er deal with ac­tor and dad Taye Dig­gs as Qu­viviq in­som­nia am­bas­sador

Idorsia’s latest Quviviq insomnia campaign details the relatable dad story of a well-known celebrity — actor and Broadway star Taye Diggs.

Diggs stopped sleeping well after the birth of his son, now more than 10 years ago. Switching mom-and-dad nightly shifts to take care of a baby interrupted his sleep patterns and led to insomnia.

“When you’re lucky enough to be living out your dream and doing what you want, but because of something as simple as a lack of sleep, you’re unable to do that, it felt absolutely — it was treacherous,” he says in an interview-style video on the Quviviq website.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: GSK in­vites al­ler­gy suf­fer­ers to cre­ate cus­tom mon­sters; Merz kicks off soc­cer spon­sor­ship

The GSK campaign for allergy nasal spray Flonase stars a variety of lawn monsters and pollinator pains. Now the pharma is encouraging allergy sufferers on social media to build their own make-believe allergy monsters.

The “Face Your Monster” digital effort encourages people to input their allergens and symptoms online or mobile phone to create a personalized version of their seasonal misery – and then share a mini-video of it in action on social media.

Co­pay coupons gone wrong, again: Pfiz­er pays al­most $300K to set­tle com­plaints in four states

Pfizer has agreed to pay $290,000 to settle allegations of questionable copay coupon practices in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Vermont from 2014 to 2018.

While the company has not admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, Pfizer has agreed to issue restitution checks to about 5,000 consumers.

A Pfizer spokesperson said the company has “enhanced its co-pay coupons to alleviate the concerns raised by states and agreed to a $30,000 payment to each.”

Delaware court rules against Gilead and Astel­las in years-long patent case

A judge in Delaware has ruled against Astellas Pharma and Gilead in a long-running patent case over Pfizer-onwed Hospira’s generic version of Lexiscan.

The case kicked off in 2018, after Hospira submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for approval to market a generic version of Gilead’s Lexiscan. The drug is used in myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), a type of nuclear stress test.

Belén Garijo, Merck KGaA CEO (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for EMD Serono)

Mer­ck KGaA pumps €440M in­to ex­pand­ing and con­struct­ing Irish man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties

The area of Ireland famous for Blarney Castle and its cliffsides along the Atlantic Ocean is seeing Merck KGaA expand its commitment there.

The German drug manufacturer is expanding its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities in Ireland. The company will invest approximately €440 million ($470 million) to increase membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill, Ireland, and build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park, in County Cork, Ireland.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

House Dems to Sen­ate lead­er­ship: Quick­ly move a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion bill with drug price ne­go­ti­a­tion re­forms

Twenty House Democrats, including Reps. Katie Porter of California and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, are calling on Senate leaders to move quickly with a reconciliation bill (meaning they only need a simple majority for passage) with prescription drug pricing reforms, and to include adding new authority for Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

They also called on the Senate to specifically follow suit with the House passage of a $35 per month insulin cap (as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s deadline for a vote on that provision has come and gone), and to cap Medicare Part D costs at $2,000 per year for seniors.

Phillip Gomez, SIGA CEO

UP­DAT­ED: On the back of SIGA Tech­nolo­gies' win with the FDA, the mon­key­pox virus sees the com­pa­ny spring­ing to fur­ther ac­tion

As the cases of monkeypox now sit at well over 100 worldwide and have spread to multiple continents, the orders for any type of vaccine against monkeypox are seeing nations and medical bodies looking to get their hands on anything and everything. And now SIGA Technologies seems to be getting in on the action.

According to Euronews, SIGA Technologies, a pharmaceutical company that is focused on providing medical countermeasures to biological and chemical attacks, is now in talks with several European authorities looking to stockpile its antiviral that can counter monkeypox. The drug known as tecovirimat or Tpoxx was approved by the FDA in 2018 as a vaccine for smallpox but was approved by the European Medicines Agency to also act against monkeypox, cowpox and complications from immunization with vaccinia.