Reuters: Big Pharma’s Bet On Big Data Creates Opportunities And Risks Reuters: Biosimilar Drugs Get Boost As UK Cost Agency Backs Their Use Novartis wants every puff of its emphysema drug Onbrez to go into the cloud. The Swiss drugmaker has teamed up with U.S. technology firm Qualcomm to develop an internet-connected inhaler that can send information about how often it is used to remote computer servers known as the cloud. This kind of new medical technology is designed to allow patients to keep track of their drug usage on their smartphones or tablets and for their doctors to instantly access the data over the web to monitor their condition. (1/26) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Cheaper “biosimilar” copies of expensive biotech drugs received a boost in Britain on Tuesday when the country’s health cost-effectiveness agency NICE said patients needing such medicines “should be started with the least expensive drug”. So-called biosimilars are gaining ground in Europe, which has been faster to adopt their use than the United States, offering savings to healthcare systems and threatening sales of companies making original products. (Hirschler, 1/26) Big Pharma Sees Opportunity In Internet Options, But Privacy Concerns Loom New medical technology will allow companies to develop products that help patients keep track of their dosages and let doctors access that information instantly, but security experts warn that medical information is worth more than credit cards on the black market. In other pharmaceutical news, “biosimilars” get a boost across the pond.