Within the next five to 10 years, patients enrolled in research studies will using voice assistant technology such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to interact with clinical trials. Experts expect that these voice assist devices will bolster patient engagement, and may eventually streamline the research enterprise for sponsors and site coordinators as well. On Wednesday, November 8, ICON demonstrated Amazon Alexa’s capacity to deploy a commonly used research questionnaire at the ISPOR 20th Annual European Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. According to Muehlhausen, controlled studies are “the next step” for ICON. “We have a pharma company that has already committed to run a scientific exercise in which we’ll compare Alexa versus an IVR system or a paper system.”
Don’t fear for the orphan drug tax credit—it will survive
The Republican tax plan, if passed in its current form, would repeal the orphan drug tax credit, a tax cut for biopharma companies that develop drugs for rare diseases. Republicans say that wiping out the decades-old tax credit would save the government an estimated $54 billion over the next 10 years. Those who make orphan drugs say such a repeal would result in 33% fewer orphan drugs coming to market—an unprecedented decrease. And it would hurt patients waiting for cures.
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