“Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, is altering commercial course, returning marketing duties for two prescription digital therapeutics (DTx) back to Pear Therapeutics. The move, which some had anticipated, comes 18 months after the two signed a co-promotion deal.
Since the Sandoz/Pear pact was widely seen as a litmus test of sorts for pharma’s role in helping distribute this nascent technology, the commercial break-up raises questions about the viability of such partnerships going forward. It also highlights the parties’ sometimes conflicting priorities: pharma’s concern about its core business versus digital therapeutics firms’ worries about funding and investment…
Despite the Sandoz/Pear news, he and others foresee such collaborations continuing. DTx still represents a “huge opportunity” for pharma, wrote Alessio Brunello, senior pharma analyst with GlobalData, in a note Thursday. DTx, he said, should see continued partnership activity in R&D and therapeutics, due in part to pressure on health systems from the aging population and increasing costs and in part to the potential of improved adherence.
DTx can be prescribed as monotherapy or together with other therapies to prevent, manage or treat diseases across diverse indications, particularly chronic diseases and neurological disorders. Pear’s reSET product, approved by the FDA in 2017, was the first software application sanctioned for clinical use to treat substance use disorder (SUD) related to stimulants, cannabis, cocaine and alcohol…
Payers think of these solutions as different, she (Lisa Flaiz at Bristol-Myers Squibb) said. “But in my opinion, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s a pill or an app. If the outcomes are the same, the payers should be paying for the outcome.”
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