Smart pills aren’t living up to the hype yet — but they’re not doomed

0
132


click here.

The FDA made a landmark decision in November 2017 when it rubberstamped the first trackable, sensor-embedded pill that connects to a smartphone. But a comprehensive review of the FDA’s process reveals that the digital pill was approved based on sparse evidence, and it doesn’t augment medication compliance, according to a study published in The BMJ.

Business Insider Intelligence

There’s no evidence that patients using pharma giant Otsuka’s Abilify MyCite — the digital version of Abilify, which is used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — were any better at sticking to their medication regimens than those taking the traditional form of the drug.

This adds weight to the concerns that have bubbled up since the smart pill garnered FDA approval — and could pump the brakes on smart pills’ advancement in medicine.

Here’s why the FDA’s approval of Abilify MyCite held promise for drug uptake in the US:

  • The smart pill was celebrated as a “Band-Aid” to the US’ costly medication adherence problem. The idea was: Keeping tabs on when patients take their meds via smart pills’ integrated sensors could help payers vacuum up costs of members who don’t follow their regimens. The US pours out up to $300 billion annually on medication nonadherence — a portion of which is spent on patients who might qualify for Abilify MyCite and have lousy medication adherence rates. Patients with schizophrenia have among the lowest adherence rate, with only 50% taking their medications as instructed in some studies, per Bright Quest.
  • We originally postulated that Abilify MyCite would serve as a launching pad for other pharma firms to create digital medication for other conditions with low medication adherence. Drug companies that developed drugs for conditions that don’t generate symptoms — like high cholesterol — could have benefitted from creating digital versions since patients with asymptomatic conditions have low adherence rates, for example.

Payers likely won’t warm to smart pills like Abilify MyCite while evidence of their benefits remains meager — but smart pills aren’t doomed just yet.

  • Abilify MyCite is priced at $1,650, while generic Abilify costs $20, Forbes notes. If the smart pill adds no value to the medication and can’t promise cost reductions, it’s unlikely insurers will purchase the costlier digital version.
  • But other smart pills have cropped up that might win payers’ trust. Proteus Digital Health, the company behind Abilify MyCite’s tech, also designed a digital chemotherapy pill — and because the sensor isn’t embedded in the active medication of the pill, FDA approval wasn’t necessary, Stat reports. This treatment also differs from Abilify MyCite in that it costs insurers no more than standard pills.

Interested in getting the full story? Here are three ways to get access:

  1. Sign up forDigital Health Pro, Business Insider Intelligence’s expert product suite keeping you up-to-date on the people, technologies, trends, and companies shaping the future of healthcare, delivered to your inbox 6x a week.>>Get Started
  2. Subscribe to aPremiumpass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to Digital Health Pro, plus more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally.>>Learn More Now
  3. Current subscribers can read the full briefinghere.
More:

Health
BI Intelligence
BI Intelligence Content Marketing


Close iconTwo crossed lines that form an ‘X’. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.


Check mark iconA check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here