Latest Commentary

Diabetes pricing war? Sanofi, Lilly and Novo each have their ideas

When Sanofi announced that its franchise would suffer next year because of U.S. payer contracts, the natural follow-up question was this: Does this mean a diabetes pricing war? If Sanofi had to boost its rebates to win coverage--which the company admits it did--then that means its rivals, including Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, have, too.

Cancer survivor's petition pleads with Roche for lower Kadcyla price

Drugmakers are accustomed to grappling with government payers and PBMs over prices. But a pricing fight directly with patients? That's not your everyday occurrence.

Merck hops onto HBCU network to step up its brand in the African-American community

Merck's marketing team is adding another arrow to its quiver of community-oriented campaigns: a partnership with HBCU Connect, a niche media network targeting alumni and students of historically black colleges and universities.

Sunshine fact: $3.5B + 546,000 docs equals one unwieldy database

A few things are certain about the Sunshine Act data that hit the Internet Tuesday afternoon. One, it's incomplete. Two, it's controversial. Three, the numbers are pretty staggering, with $3.5 billion in payments to 546,000 doctors and 1,360 research institutions over a 5-month period.

Copay coupons get the Inspector General treatment

The HHS Inspector General's office says the fine print isn't enough to safeguard against Medicare recipients' coupon use. Drugmakers have to do more--or risk violating antikickback laws.

First-to-market launch? Bonus--but double bonus if you're Big Pharma

When it comes to launching a next-generation drug, first is always best, right? Press releases can call it a "first-in-class" product. Sales and marketing teams can get a leg or two up on any follow-up rivals. What's not to like? McKinsey & Co. wanted to find out.

Free speech, PhRMA? Not in this off-label marketing case, feds say

The pharma industry's free speech stand in a whistleblower lawsuit against Millennium Pharmaceuticals? Not so fast, says the Department of Justice. The First Amendment doesn't protect speech that spawns illegal conduct, federal prosecutors say in their own brief in the case.

It's megablockbuster halfsies for Sanofi, Amgen in next new cholesterol market

When is cholesterol fighting a game of six of one, half dozen of the other? Could be when the contest is between Amgen and its PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab, and Sanofi and Regeneron's rival alirocumab. Despite some dramatic new data from the latter team--and a first-up filing with the FDA by Amgen--analysts figure on a dead heat once the drugs hit the market.

Bristol-Myers gets the approval Gilead didn't want: Daklinza + Sovaldi for hep C

Want a window into the future of hepatitis C drug marketing? Keep an eye on Europe. Bristol-Myers Squibb bagged European approval for its hepatitis C fighter Daklinza (daclatasvir) Wednesday, setting the company up for head-to-head competition with Gilead Sciences' upcoming combo drug.

Massive Novo insulin plant aims to make more with less

About an hour and a half west of Copenhagen is a little coastal town, Kalundborg, with 16,000 inhabitants, a famous five-steepled church and a castle dating back to at least the 14th century. It also happens to be the home of the plant that produces half of the world's insulin, the key component to most diabetes treatments.