via Drug Discovery News' Virtual Break Room
by Amy Swinderman, ddn Chief Editor
Pharma news of the weird: Cartoons, government and beer
Have you ever seen a new drug commercial and literally said, out loud, “WTF?” Pharmaceutical company commercials often raise the ire of critics, but one in particular really has me scratching my head, and tops my little collection of weird news developments in the pharma arena.
A recent commercial for Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co.’s (BMS) antidepressant Abilify depicts a patient-doctor interaction, done in cartoon form, in which a patient sheds her “blue robe” of depression and heads in to ask her doctor if Abilify is right for her.
You can see the commercial on YouTube here.
BMS’ choice to use cartoons instead of real people is puzzling—but wait, the commercial is about to get weirder. Inexplicably, instead of telling his patient about the drug and its possible side effects and drug interactions, the doctor pulls down a projection screen … and allows a different cartoon version of himself to do the talking. Meanwhile, the animated blue robe looks on, blinking.
Are you following that? Me neither. Aren’t these commercials controversial enough without rocking the boat this much?
Meanwhile, in government news (which is frequently weird) … while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often criticized for the speed by which it approves new drugs—and lawmakers continue to put forth legislation that aims to ease bottlenecks in the process—a recent report claims that new drugs are actually approved faster here in the United States than in Europe or Canada.
According to Yale University School of Medicine researchers, their recent study of drug-approval decisions made in the first decade of the new millennium refutes the common belief that the FDA’s drug-approval process is especially slow.
After studying decisions made by the FDA, Health Canada (the Canadian drug regulatory authority) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the researchers found that the FDA’s reviews were more than three months faster than those of its Canadian and European counterparts. here
The study mentioned above, "Regulatory Review of Novel Therapeutics — Comparison of Three Regulatory Agencies" Nicholas S. Downing, A.B., Jenerius A. Aminawung, M.D., M.P.H., Nilay D. Shah, Ph.D., Joel B. Braunstein, M.D., M.B.A., Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., and Joseph S. Ross, M.D., M.H.S.
N Engl J Med 2012; 366:2284-2293
Why would anyone want to take this drug? at Beyond Meds