Pharma Technology Focus – Issue 49

In this issue: Improving treatment for refugees, making global drug price regulation work, a new approach to AMR, tackling depression with psilocybin, combating counterfeit Viagra, innovations in temperature controlled packaging and more.


Pharma Technology Focus is free for the iPad. Download our app to read the latest issue and browse our back issues for free.

A damning new report believes that, if unchecked, antimicrobial resistance could lead to ten million deaths every year. The author recommends that no one be allowed to take antibiotics without first taking an eligibility test, but what would this test look like and does the technology even exist? We speak to scientists to find out more.

Also in this issue, we look at the impact of French President Francois Hollande’s commitment to establishing international drug price regulation, ask whether psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, could be used to treat depression, and investigate the growing problem of counterfeit lifestyle drugs such as Viagra being sold online.

Plus, we speak to Novartis about its project to improve long-term care for refugees with chronic diseases in Lebanon, discover more about the latest technologies in temperature controlled packaging and ask how the UK is bridging the skills gap in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Read the issue for free on your iPad through our app, or if you're on a desktop computer you can also read it in our web viewer.

In this issue

The Case for Global Regulation
French President Francois Hollande is hoping to encourage the adoption of an international drug price regulation. The move could bring transparency and affordability so medicines can be accessed more widely. Chris Lo asks, is the world ready?
Read the article.

The Antibiotics Test
Rapid diagnostic tests could go a long way to reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics, a problem contributing to the spread of superbugs. Elly Earls finds out more from Dr Ann Van den Bruel and Dr Philip Turner.
Read the article.

Psilocybin vs. Depression
Researchers have conducted a small-scale clinical trial to test the effect of psilocybin, the active component in ‘magic mushrooms’, on patients with depression. Abi Millar asks whether the obstacles to its development are insuperable.
Read the article.

A Costly Decision
Is the FDA right in delaying the approval of Esperion Therapeutics’ novel lipid-lowering therapy? GlobalData analyst for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders Elizabeth Hamson, PhD, discusses the decision.
Read the article.

Faking It
Lifestyle drugs like Viagra are particularly susceptible to online counterfeiting. Elly Earls meets Haydn Simpson, commercial director of brand protection specialist NetNames, to find out how it can be tackled.
Read the article.

Refugee Relief
Disease accounts for half of the total deaths in refugee-overrun Lebanon, an issue that Novartis and the International Committee of the Red Cross are tackling head on. Elly Earls finds out more.
Read the article.

Keep Your Cool
Innovations in temperature-controlled packaging are increasingly vital within cold chain logistics when transporting biologics and pharmaceuticals. Kevin Lawler of Pelican BioThermal tells us about the latest developments.
Read the article.

Plugging the Skills Gap
A recent report stresses that to remain central to the UK economy, more investment is needed to make sure relevant R&D skills are being created. Abi Millar finds out how training in the pharma industry can keep pace.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

A team of researchers has devised a method to maximise investment and reduce risk in cancer megafunds through identifying ‘toxic assets’ that threaten the fund. We investigate the optimal financial strategy to increase the likelihood that an investment is paying off scientifically.

We also take a look at AstraZeneca’s new treatment for lupus, find out how copper could be used to treat illnesses such as obesity, and review research by Washington State University that suggests there may be benefits to timing chemotherapy in cancer patients to align with the body’s inner clock.

Plus, we find out about a device that can be used to soak up excess harmful drugs, explore a new path of drug development in the battle against colorectal cancers, learn how researchers who have made ethical errors can be rehabilitated, and hear from a roundtable of experts about how pharma companies can benefit from outsourcing regulatory and pharmacovigilance activities.

Digital magazine FAQ

You can read Pharma Technology Focus for free on the iPad. Download our app from the App Store to read the latest issue and browse the back issues in our archive. Sign up for a free subscription in the app and never miss a new issue.

You can also continue to read the desktop version for free on our web viewer. (Browser compatibility: The web viewer works in the latest two version of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well as in Internet Explorer 9 and 10. Some features may not be compatible with older browser versions.)