Dispensed: Prescribing guidelines at a buzzy men's health startup, a depression drug moves one step closer to approval, and a leaked letter that's fueling a fight over high drug prices

Business Insider | 2/15/2019 | Lydia Ramsey
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This week was busy with a big M&A deal for a surgical robotics company and lackluster results for the super-hot, $35 billion NASH market. But in between the breaking news, here were the stories that caught our attention this week.

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First - Emma - Court - Investigation - Saturday

First off, if you haven't read it yet, be sure to check out Emma Court's investigation that came out Saturday into the prescribing practices of the doctors that work with the men's health company Hims, which is reportedly nearing unicorn status.

Trendy startup Hims wants to shake up men's health by prescribing generic Viagra online and is nearing a $1 billion valuation. But a move to relax guidelines has raised concerns among some of its doctor partners.

Men - Health - Startup - Hims - Viagra

The trendy men's health startup Hims sells generic Viagra and other prescription medications online. Splashy ad campaigns have propelled the San Francisco-based company to prominence, and towards a $1 billion valuation.

But a Hims-led effort to expand the number of online patients whom doctors could treat with generic Viagra has sparked concerns among some doctors who work with Hims.

Doctors - Hims - Prescriptions - Clinicians - Year

Those doctors worried that Hims may be pushing them to write more prescriptions. Some clinicians said late last year in an internal poll that they felt patient care was deteriorating. Hims executive Melissa Baird says that there is no pressure to prescribe.

Hims' Baird told Business Insider that the original erectile-dysfunction guidelines had been overly conservative.

Level - Patient - Care - Safety - Hims

"The level of patient care and safety on hims' platform is best in class in accordance to all medical and clinical standards," Hims said in a statement.

Business Insider is the first to report on the change in prescribing protocols and the physician concerns.

Supply - Chain - Tensions - Drugmakers - Middlemen

Elsewhere in the pharmaceutical supply chain, tensions are running high between drugmakers and middlemen. I wrote about the drama that unfolded last Friday in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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