Outside the Orchard

Outside the Orchard

Although it may seem like it there is nothing else going on in this wacky world other than what Apple is doing, there is believe it or not other news not related to Apple. So, let’s get right too it –

Just this morning Roche announced a new program that will make test strips more affordable. Called SimplePay the first time a patient buys test strips they will pay $19.99 for 50 strips every time after that they will pay just $10 for a box of 50.

In typical Roche fashion, there actually is another company called SimplePay who’s website is simplepay.com. This company has nothing to do with Roche or this new program but it does show that some things haven’t change at Roche. Now one might think that someone at Roche would have performed a simple Google search using the phrase simplepay, just as we did to see if the URL was being used or if any other company was called simplepay, which as we note there is.

But Roche being Roche they do not think like a consumer does, a consumer who when they hear about this program will do what we did and search Google for SimplePay. A consumer who will likely wonder why when they go to this site it’s not about this program. However, this is not the first time this has happened back when Insulet (NASDAQ: PODD) was working on the new smaller pod the code name for this project was Eros. Anyone who looked up Eros on the internet found … wait for it .. a porn site, which is a heck of a lot more interesting than the SimplePay site.

Also in the cost saving department, our friends at Valeritas released the results from a retrospective analysis which showed that patients using the V-Go saved money. According to this analysis patients using the V-Go reduced their total daily insulin dose by 44%. The analysis also noted direct pharmacy cost savings of $146.00±$378.60 per patient per month, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.

Now if our friends at Valeritas can just find a way to explain why if this is such a great system more patients aren’t adopting it. Why if outcomes really are better and cost really are lower why more physicians aren’t prescribing the V-Go. Maybe just maybe they can explain why that the only thing they appear to be really good at is losing money.

Speaking of losing the folks at AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) suffered yet another setback when their cardiovascular studies for Bydureon didn’t live up to expectations. Yes, the study showed that Bydureon didn’t worsen the combined risk of heat attack, stroke and cardiovascular death. However, when compared to the placebo, researchers recorded fewer CV events in the study’s Bydureon arm the difference was not statistically significant.

Net it all out and the cardiovascular data for Victoza from Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) was better as it showed the drug could cut the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death together by 13%. Although Bydureon is taken just once a week and Victoza is taken daily it’s likely this difference in dosing will not offset the difference in cardiovascular data.

This may be somewhat of a hallow victory for Novo as we have yet to see any cardiovascular data for Trulicity, Lilly’s (NYSE: LLY) once weekly GLP-1. A drug which is gaining share and from what we can tell blunting further adoption of Victoza. We don’t see physicians switching patients off Victoza, at least not yet, but new scripts for Victoza are slowing.

With the ADA conference, just a few days away we’re sure these events along with the Apple news will be widely debated. Yes, it looks like it will be a fun time in San Diego.