Biography for Tracy Staton
Tracy Staton, Senior Editor
Tracy Staton is the editor of FiercePharma and FiercePharmaMarketing. She has been a freelance writer for eight years, but before that served as editor of the Dallas Business Journal, editor of Texas Business magazine, and a senior editor at American Way, the inflight magazine of American Airlines. She is based in Vermont, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on LinkedIn.
Articles by Tracy Staton
Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer.
A time-honored technique for boosting drug sales is simple: Raise prices. Lately, plenty of drugmakers pressed by patent-cliff losses have done just that. But some notable price hikes on diabetes drugs may be backfiring with payers. With diabetes costs taking double-digit increases--and expensive newer meds launching--insurers are tightening restrictions on drug use.
The payer panic over the cost of Gilead Sciences' pricey-and-wildly-successful hepatitis C drug Sovaldi has been well documented. But now, one of the two biggest pharmacy benefits managers in the U.S. says the debate over Sovaldi's $1,000-per-pill price is a symptom of a bigger anxiety.
Talk about peer pressure. First, a couple of U.S. drugmakers pull off trans-Atlantic deals that shift their official HQs and lower their tax rates. Next, some bigger names go for the same tax-inversion strategy. Now, investors want to know why every drugmaker isn't jumping in.
Not every drug chief wants to ride the wave of M&A sweeping through pharma. Example: Roche CEO Severin Schwan, who says he'll stay in the shallows.
In its second FDA nod this week, Salix Pharmaceuticals won the go-ahead for Ruconest, its first-in-class treatment for a rare genetic disease, hereditary angioedema.
Take a look at Novartis' second-quarter results for reasons why it engineered that big asset swap-and-sale with GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly. The two units Novartis is unloading, vaccines and animal health, delivered weak sales for the quarter, dragging the company's top line below expectations.
The drug-pricing battle continues, but this time, Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi isn't at the center. That dubious honor goes to Vertex Pharmaceuticals' cystic fibrosis treatment Kalydeco. According to a lawsuit filed by three CF patients, Arkansas Medicaid officials are locking them out of Kalydeco treatment.
We know plenty of Big Pharma companies are hawking portfolios of old products. What we don't know is who might buy them. One answer came earlier this week, when Mylan said it would acquire an ex-U.S. portfolio of Abbott Laboratories meds in a $5.3 billion stock swap. Now, it might be Sanofi's turn--and Mylan and Abbott are part of that chatter, too.
What's #FOGO? Hint: Many of us have it. Another hint: Pfizer wants people to talk about it.