According to a report in the Economist, $50 billion in Alcon ( and $24m to secure exclusive licences and options on drug-delivery technologies developed by Proteus Biomedical. It made Novartis the biggest pharmaceuticals firm to embrace “smart-pill” technology.
Reasons for the deal:
- Proteus’ technology points to “a promising new strategy” for a “troubled” industry.
- Patents on many lucrative drugs are set to expire soon and most pharma companies have not discovered enough treatments to replace them.
- With an eye toward maintaining fiscal stability, some drugmakers are tinkering with the idea of selling ancillary services tied to their offerings — like Proteus’ advanced medication adherence.
- Medication adherence is a huge problem: One study pinpoints the costs of medication adherence-related, needless hospitalizations at costing $100 billion each year in the U.S.
- Leslie Saxon, chief of cardiology at the University of Southern California, thinks patients will clamor for more data about their own health.
- Governments, including the U.S., are beginning require drugmakers to first prove the efficacy of expensive new pills in practice as well as in theory, which might drive more of them to use technology like Proteus.
The Economist report also includes a metric from research from Kalorama, which predicts that sales of wireless health services will leap from $4.3 billion last year to $9.6 billion by 2012.