Latest Commentary

A new excuse for pharma to avoid the Twitterverse, thanks to the FDA

Any brand managers eager to jump into Twitter as soon as the FDA gave the go-ahead? No such luck. Last week's social media guidance on risk disclosures may have cleared up some of the regulatory fog, but in this case, clarity isn't a positive.

Can fake patients still tell tales? In pharma marketing, maybe so

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV. That approach has put pharma in the doghouse before. But now, here's a new question. What about, "I'm not a patient, but I play one in a promo campaign for doctors"?

How to sell a statin? Pfizer and AstraZeneca have different ideas

It's a tale of two statin drugs and their attempts to keep market share--or build it, as the case may be. Pfizer rolled out a new version of its Lipitor copay discount program, and this time, it applies to patients covered via certain U.S. government programs.

Got a problem, doc? In Eli Lilly's brave new sales world, that's a plus

New sales models are trendy in Big Pharma. Actually, they're de rigueur: With thousands fewer drug reps on the street these days, and many doctors turning reps away, companies have had to turn to new ways of promoting their products. Plus, all those pesky Department of Justice settlements make the old hard sell seem sketchy.

FDA officials say they're 'serious' about pharma's free speech

FDA officials are having a rethink on free speech--and that could end with an about-face on off-label marketing.

China speaks on GSK bribery charges, and the word isn't good

China is coming down hard on GlaxoSmithKline's local operation. After a months-long bribery probe, Chinese police have slapped Glaxo's former country chief--Mark Reilly, a Brit--and two other top Chinese executives with several counts of bribery.

With Big Pharma mergers in the works, whose SG&A costs look ripe for cutting?

When Big Pharma starts talking about big buyouts, the sales and marketing departments start chattering about their jobs. Last week's Novartis-plus-GlaxoSmithKline cancer deal is one prime example. Another, bigger one: Pfizer's proposed $100-billion-or-so buyout of AstraZeneca.

Payer revolt notwithstanding, Gilead's Sovaldi earns crown as fastest drug launch ever

We can officially say that Gilead Sciences pulled off the fastest drug launch on record. First-quarter sales of the company's new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), approved in December, blew past previous records and just kept going. And along the way, it broke the blockbuster barrier, too.

GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, starring players in a Big Pharma deal bonanza

While the chattering classes were chattering about a potential Pfizer-AstraZeneca merger yesterday, three other drug giants were putting the finishing touches on a big announcement. Novartis, whose strategic review has been making headlines for almost a year, agreed to swap some assets with GlaxoSmithKline and sell its animal health business to Eli Lilly.

Vivus needs more than boardroom shuffling to keep up with Arena's Belviq

One pre-First Manhattan Co.-settlement Vivus director standing for re-election at the company's annual meeting, that is. The Mountain View, CA-based drugmaker announced Tuesday in a regulatory filing that J. Martin Carroll, Mark Logan and Robert Wilson would not seek to retain their board positions.