News

Roche says fake MabThera has surfaced in EU

Roche is again tracking down counterfeits of some of its cancer meds in Europe after an importer in Germany discovered the fakes. In this case, it is counterfeit MabThera, sold as Rituxan in the U.S.

New COO engineers a management shake-up at Takeda

Takeda didn't bring on non-Japanese COO Christophe Weber for nothing. The Osaka-based drugmaker, still faltering in the wake of its patent loss on diabetes champ Actos, was looking for a shake-up. And now, as promised, the blueprints for a new, reorganized company structure are here.

UPDATED: With FDA confab looming, Chantix experts can't persuade court to unseal Pfizer records

Next month, the FDA's expert advisers will take another look at Pfizer's stop-smoking drug Chantix. The official agenda: Weigh new data on Chantix's links to psychiatric side effects, and consider changing the black-box warning about those risks.

Allergan, Valeant agree on meeting date. Now, the fight for shareholder votes

After months of battling between Allergan and its pursuers, Valeant and Pershing Square Capital Management, the two sides have reached a truce--at least when it comes to an upcoming shareholder meeting.

Switzerland wants to slash drug prices? Not so fast, say Novartis and Roche

So much for home field advantage. Switzerland plans to put the squeeze on drug prices, despite its corporate citizens Roche and Novartis. And the Basel-based companies are none too happy about the idea.

NY sues Actavis and Forest for 'monopoly' on Alzheimer's drug

Some analysts called it a cheap trick when Forest Laboratories said it would stop making the Alzheimer's drug Namenda this fall so it could push patients to switch to their new long-acting version as generic rivals to the original loom. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman calls the tactic something else: illegal.

Pfizer, Ranbaxy prevail in antitrust fight over Lipitor generics

Pfizer and Ranbaxy Laboratories persuaded a U.S. judge to toss out an antitrust lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to delay generic versions of the cholesterol-fighting blockbuster Lipitor.

Would Ian Read keep his AZ deal promises? U.K. panel eyes new rules to enforce them

Remember all those industrial and investment promises Pfizer made when it was trying to snag AstraZeneca earlier this year? The body that polices U.K. dealmaking is eyeing new rules that would give it more power to enforce such promises, should Pfizer--or another company--come calling in the future.

Salix hands off Relistor, other drugs to Lupin in Canada

Salix Pharmaceuticals, which has its hands full with a tax inversion merger and the integration of Santarus, will hand off Canadian sales of some of its drugs to India's Lupin. The package includes Salix's opioid constipation drug Relistor, a drug which has fallen far short of its initial potential.

Balky payers, beware: Gilead eyes $95K-or-so price for Sovaldi combo pill

Gilead Sciences has cracked the door on its pricing for the hepatitis C combo pill it's hoping to roll out next month. And here's the view: No "significant premium" to the current three-drug cocktail that includes Sovaldi, Gilead's current money-minting treatment.

Study: Roche's cheaper Avastin just as safe as Lucentis in eye disease

The nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews clinical trial data to determine the value of pharmaceuticals, is going after Lucentis, which is used to treat the blinding eye disease age-related macular degeneration.

Mylan, Ranbaxy, others to bring cheap Sovaldi to 91 markets

Cheap Sovaldi is on the way, and it could very well be coming to an emerging market near you. Gilead has ironed out a licensing deal for the hep C wonder with 7 companies--including Mylan and Ranbaxy--and they'll bring low-cost copies to 91 developing countries.

Lilly says with new data, it will seek another approval for Cyramza next year

Eli Lilly has harbored big hopes for its newly approved cancer fighter Cyramza. It expects it to get a string approvals, and with new data in hand, it said it will go to the FDA with an application for colon cancer in the first half of next year.

As America's diabetes problem grows, so do prices on Lilly's Humulin

Since 2007, the wholesale cost for a one-month supply of insulin product Humulin has gone from about $220 to approximately $1,200, MedPage Today reports.

J&J trims pension benefits for new hires

Even drugmakers with steamrolling pharma units need to cut costs sometimes, and Johnson & Johnson fits that bill. To do so, the company will shrink the pension benefits offered to those who are hired--or rehired--after January 1.

Amarin loses a second FDA appeal over omega-3 pill Vascepa

Amarin and its omega-3 pill have struck out with the FDA again. The Irish company said today that the agency has again turned down its appeal to reconsider its clinical data it hoped would help it win a label extension for Vascepa, dealing a new blow to its efforts and its financial well being. This FDA first rejected Amarin's request in January.

With inversion pushback mounting, Akorn eyes bid for UCB subsidiary

The threat of action from lawmakers may have put a damper on pharma's tax inversion frenzy, but it has not stopped the wave of deals that are taking American drugmakers overseas. Next up could be Illinois' Akorn, which is reportedly looking into a bid for Belgian pharma UCB's U.S. subsidiary.

Novo and Orexigen obesity drugs are coming, but will consumers embrace them?

On Thursday, the FDA got advice from an advisory panel that it should approve Novo Nordisk's Saxenda for obesity. Its approval would add to a struggling category a player whose expertise is with doctors treating diabetes, the physicians more likely to prescribe the drugs.

The huge price hike as sales strategy, taken to extremes by Retrophin

How's this for a business plan? Buy an old drug for a rare condition. Raise its price by 20 times. Prepare to reap the sales. What could be wrong with that?

Allergan special meeting could happen with or without Ackman's stake

Allergan had hoped that a lawsuit could potentially prevent Valeant's takeover partner--Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is Allergan's leading shareholder--from contributing to the 25% investor support threshold needed to call a special meeting. But now, Reuters' sources say, Team Valeant has rallied support from shareholders holding 35% of the company.