Gilenya, the multiple sclerosis drugs of Novartis which is prescribed for adults, has now been allowed by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults. According to the Food and Drug Administration Gilenya is the first drug used in treating relapsing multiple sclerosis which can be now be used in pediatric patients.
A clinical trial which was conducted demonstrated that 86% of patients who received Gilenya were able to remain relapse-free following two years of treatment. This was better than the 46% who did not relapse after being put on another drug. Gilenya was the first drug to get FDA’s approval for the treatment of adults suffering from relapsing multiple sclerosis.
$1.2 million mistake
This comes in the wake of the chief executive officer of Novartis, Vasant Narasimhan, saying that the payment of $1.2 million that the pharmaceutical firm made to Michael Cohen, president Trump’s lawyer, was a mistake.Vasant Narasimhan took office earlier in the year and this was already after the drug firm had inked a deal with the consulting firm of Cohen, Essential Consultants, requiring it to pay approximately $100,000 every month for a period of year. Under the deal Essential Consultants was expected to offer insights to the healthcare policy of the Trump administration.
Narasimhan told employees of Novartis in a letter that he had nothing to do with the deal and the arrangement itself frustrated him. According to reports Narasimhan said he also expected many employees of the pharmaceutical giant to feel the same way too.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has moved to launch an investigation into the payment that Novartis made to Cohen. Late last week Wyden wrote a letter indicating that there were issues he wanted answered regarding the transaction. This includes providing information of the person or persons responsible for arranging the deal with Cohen. Wyden is also additionally seeking to be provided with a copy outlining all the various interactions Cohen and Novartis had.
Besides Wyden U.S. Senator Patty Murray is also seeking answers with regards to the arrangement including the deliverables that Novartis was expecting. According to Wyden some of the troubling issues include the fact that Cohen is neither a registered lobbyist nor a policy consultant on healthcare matters. This was further reinforced by the fact that Essential Consultants indicated that it was a real estate consultancy. Also highly troubling was the fact that Novartis had contracted registered lobbying firms of which none received over $300,000 yet Cohen’s firm got four times that amount.