Researchers investigate how vial sizes can be optimized to reduce pharmaceutical wastage

New study shows how drug manufacturers can reduce wastage, and therefore their costs, by altering the size of the vials they produce

Heidelberg | New York, 5 December 2018

AHEAPharmaceuticals are often dosed according to patient weight or body size which means that a dose must be individually measured. In a new study, lead author Anthony Hatswell of Delta Hat Limited and University College London in the UK, shows that by optimizing drug dose sizes available, wastage can be cut by as much as 50 per cent. The research is in the Adis journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, which is published by Springer Nature.

Many pharmaceuticals, such as drugs used for cancer treatment, are only available in standard quantities, for example in 100 milligram packages. In this study, Hatswell and his co-author Joshua Porter investigated how the quantity of medicine in each package could be varied to reduce the overall wastage. This would allow manufacturers to cut their costs, helping to make medicines available to patients.

To calculate the level of wastage, the authors looked at statistics from the Health Survey for England, which gives data on the height and weight of over 5000 individuals. Using this data they calculated how much drug would be wasted at every combination of vial sizes. The analysis was then tailored to the characteristics of patients with the disease (for example, males are heavier and taller than females on average), before the total wastage was aggregated over the population. By looking at all possible combinations of package sizes, Hatswell and Porter were then able to find those with low levels of wastage. The steps laid out in the publication can therefore be applied to any drug that does not  have a fixed dose.

The researchers found that wastage from the cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®, Merck, which is on track for sales of more than $5 billion in 2018) could be cut from 13.3 per cent to 8.7 per cent. Similarly the prostate cancer drug cabazitaxel (Jevtana®, Sanofi) could see wastage cut from a projected 19.4 per cent to 6.5 per cent.

“We use methods such as integer programming and operations research which date back to the Second World War and are widely used in the manufacturing of consumer goods. Their application to healthcare represents a novel step which ultimately we hope will help patients access important new medicines,” explains Hatswell.

Reference: Hatswell & Porter (2018). Reducing drug wastage in pharmaceuticals dosed by weight or body surface areas by optimising vial sizes, Applied Health Economics and Health Policy DOI: 10.1007/s40258-018-0444-0

 

Pharmacovigilance in the Middle East: Adis PV attends the regional ISoP meeting

Pharmacovigilance in the Middle East: Adis PV attends the regional ISoP meeting

Springer Nature sponsored the annual meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) Middle East Chapter under the Adis Pharmacovigilance brand, held on the 20th of September 2018 in Dubai. ISoP is an international non-profit organisation which aims to promote pharmacovigilance and enhance the safety and proper use of drugs worldwide. Continue reading “Pharmacovigilance in the Middle East: Adis PV attends the regional ISoP meeting”

The World Drug Safety Congress in Amsterdam addresses key challenges

The World Drug Safety Congress in Amsterdam addresses key challenges

Adis Pharmacovigilance attended the World Drug Safety Congress in Amsterdam on Sept 10th and 11th.

The event has been running for over a decade and is world renowned for its ability to connect key stakeholders in the drug safety field, as well as for leading the way in moving the sector forward.

Senior level drug safety professionals, as well as representatives from sponsors and service providers, met to discuss key topics and showcase solutions.

This year’s theme, Addressing Key Challenges for Safety Professionals, had us prepared for a series of interesting presentations and discussions on the ever growing importance of pharmacovigilance and the challenges connected with ensuring patient safety. Continue reading “The World Drug Safety Congress in Amsterdam addresses key challenges”

Avatrombopag (Doptelet®): First Global Approval – Reducing the bleeding risks of invasive procedures in patients with Chronic Liver Disease

Avatrombopag (Doptelet®): First Global Approval – Reducing the bleeding risks of invasive procedures in patients with Chronic Liver Disease

Avatrombopag (Doptelet ®) received its first global approval in the US; this was reviewed in detail in the First Global Approval report in Adis’ journal Drugs[1], based on the development milestones tracked in AdisInsight[2]. Continue reading “Avatrombopag (Doptelet®): First Global Approval – Reducing the bleeding risks of invasive procedures in patients with Chronic Liver Disease”

Erenumab (AIMOVIG™): First Global Approval in US followed by Positive CHMP Opinion – Once-monthly prophylactic approach for adults with Migraine

Erenumab (AIMOVIG™): First Global Approval in US followed by Positive CHMP Opinion – Once-monthly prophylactic approach for adults with Migraine

Erenumab (AIMOVIG™, erenumab-aooe) was launched in the US in July 2018, following its first global approval in the region in May, which was reviewed in detail in the First Global Approval report in Adis’ journal Drugs[1], based on the development milestones tracked in AdisInsight[2]. Also in May 2018, the agent received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). Continue reading “Erenumab (AIMOVIG™): First Global Approval in US followed by Positive CHMP Opinion – Once-monthly prophylactic approach for adults with Migraine”

Durvalumab (Imfinzi®): CHMP Positive Opinion for NSCLC in Europe

Durvalumab (Imfinzi®): CHMP Positive Opinion for NSCLC in Europe

In July 2018 durvalumab (Imfinzi ®) received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP). The committee recommended marketing authorisation for the agent in Europe for the treatment of locally-advanced, unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults whose tumours express PD-L1 on ≥1% of tumour cells, and whose disease has not progressed following platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy. [1] Continue reading “Durvalumab (Imfinzi®): CHMP Positive Opinion for NSCLC in Europe”

Durvalumab (IMFINZI®): Follow up Approval for NSCLC in Japan

Durvalumab (IMFINZI®): Follow up Approval for NSCLC in Japan

Durvalumab (IMFINZI®) was approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in July 2018, for maintenance therapy after definitive chemoradiation therapy (CRT) in locally-advanced (Stage III), unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).[1] Continue reading “Durvalumab (IMFINZI®): Follow up Approval for NSCLC in Japan”

Call for Papers: Themed Issue – Improving Transparency in Decision Models

Call for Papers: Themed Issue – Improving Transparency in Decision Models

PharmacoEconomics invites the submission of papers (original research, reviews and opinion pieces) on improving transparency in decision models for a themed issue of the journal to be published in 2019 and guest edited by Paul Tappenden (University of Sheffield) and Jaime Caro (London School of Economics and McGill University). We encourage papers from the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders including methodologists, payers, health technology assessment bodies, analysts, pharmaceutical industry, advocacy groups and software developers. Country-specific perspectives are also encouraged. Papers can be either methodological or applied.  Continue reading “Call for Papers: Themed Issue – Improving Transparency in Decision Models”

FDA to revisit guidelines for biosimilar development pathway

FDA to revisit guidelines for biosimilar development pathway

In September 2017, the US FDA made public a draft industry guideline entitled “Statistical Approaches to Evaluate Analytical Similarity.”[1]  Its aim was to provide advice, to sponsors developing biosimilar agents, on how to demonstrate that the product under investigation is “highly similar” to the referenced biological. After taking into consideration the public comments relating to the document, the FDA withdrew the guideline in June 2018 for further evaluation and development to ensure that the scientific and regulatory issues that had been raised would be appropriately addressed.[2] Continue reading “FDA to revisit guidelines for biosimilar development pathway”