News

Merck taps celeb chef to deliver diabetes message to Hispanics

Merck's America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals campaign is aimed at persuading patients to do what it takes to keep their blood sugar in check. Now, Merck is launching a similar campaign aimed at the Hispanic community, which is disproportionately affected by the disease.

Don't worry about a hep C pricing war, analysts tell Gilead-watchers

No price war on hepatitis C drugs? That would be a disappointment to payers worried about the cost of treating millions of patients with super-expensive, yet highly effective drugs. But to investors, that reassurance sounds really good.

Price could be key for Sanofi's new Gaucher pill as it sets out against IV rivals

More than a couple of markets have been shaken up lately by new competition in oral form. And now, Sanofi's Genzyme is wondering if it can't make a splash of its own with Cerdelga, its newly approved pill for Gaucher disease.

Hospira threatens wholesale job cuts if FDA lets Precedex copies roll out

New generic competition in the U.S. always makes a sales organization uneasy because layoffs usually follow. But Hospira's branded sales team faces a double whammy.

Most of pharma's 2014 woes playing out as execs expected

When surveyed about their outlook, pharma industry leaders said they felt plagued by uncertainty and beaten down by budget cuts. More than half worried they would receive pink slips by the end of this year. But some more optimistic execs predicted new investment in their departments, and many figured staffing levels will endure, at least for this year.

Celgene's cost-sharing offer persuades NICE to about-face on Revlimid

Celgene used a tried-and-true technique to persuade cost-effectiveness watchdogs to change their minds on Revlimid. The U.S.-based drugmaker capped its cost.

Depomed scores a win in its epic struggle to fend off Gralise copycats

On Tuesday, Depomed announced that it won its patent lawsuit against Actavis, which wanted to market a generic version of Depomed's shingles pain drug Gralise. Depomed's shares surged more than 13% in after-hours trading to $14.94.

Will Allergan bid for Salix as it looks to escape Valeant's clutches?

Allergan CEO David Pyott has hinted he might make a pickup to thwart Valeant's attempts to take over his company. And now that one-time target Shire is off the table after being snatched up by AbbVie, his sights may be set on Salix.

Allergan CFO's departure may signal strength, not weakness

The sudden departure of a C-suite exec always raises eyebrows. When the company is a buyout target in the midst of a heated takeover battle, the questions really fly. But in the case of Allergan CFO Jeff Edwards, whose departure the company announced Monday, analysts say there's nothing to worry about.

Lilly, Boehringer score FDA backing for Lantus copy, but patent fight awaits

Eli Lilly won't be able to sell its Lantus copycat--dubbed Basaglar--for at least 30 months because of a patent fight with Sanofi.

Merck seeking dismissal of Fosamax femur-fracture suits

Merck's already won two bellwether suits over femur fractures suffered by Fosamax patients. But is that enough to get the remaining 500 or so cases tossed out?

Big Pharma doesn't win the margin stakes. That's Jazz, Celgene, Regeneron and Alexion

Margins, margins, margins. That's an inevitable mantra among top investors and analysts. Just ask Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, who's pledged big improvements in the Swiss drugmaker's spread. Or Eli Lilly CFO Derica Rice, who's had to explain why his company can promise to maintain margins as its sales spiral downward.

DOJ clears AstraZeneca for a U.S. Brilinta takeoff

The U.S. Department of Justice closed out its probe of a key Brilinta trial--and without further ado. No additional label warnings. And certainly no forced withdrawal from the U.S. market.

Big investors urge drugmakers to stop badmouthing biosimilars

As the FDA considers whether it should approve recently filed biosimilar versions of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade and Amgen's Neupogen, a parade of pharma companies, physicians and payers is coming forward to voice their concerns, not the least of which is how these products will be named. Now another group of concerned parties has joined the chorus: investors.

Stubborn Valeant powers ahead with extended Allergan buyout offer

Valeant's tender offer for Allergan isn't expiring just yet. The company has extended the deadline to Dec. 31, giving it and activist investor partner Bill Ackman a few more months to go after deal-averse Allergan.

Biogen ready to steal market share with newly minted MS drug Plegridy

Biogen Idec has added another bow to its multiple sclerosis quiver. With the FDA's approval of Plegridy, a long-acting form of its popular Avonex, Biogen can fight for an even bigger share of the MS market.

Reckitt Benckiser chief ahead of the consumer health curve, analysts say

What's that about Bart Becht's shadow? Don't ask Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor. He's not living in it.

Should deal-needy Pfizer target antibiotics specialist Cubist?

Forget tax-advantaged Irish drugmakers. It may be a good time to take over an antibiotics maker on the cheap--and analysts have just the antibiotics maker in mind.

Docs to FDA: Biosimilars should have different names than branded drugs

Ever since the FDA drafted a set of rules for biosimilars in 2012, a debate has been raging over whether those drugs should carry the same generic names as the products they emulate. Now, some doctors are weighing in on the issue, urging the FDA to require biosimilars to have different names than branded biotech drugs.

Alabama Supreme Court redux: Pfizer can be sued for generic Reglan harms

The Alabama Supreme Court won't back away from a controversial ruling against Pfizer, in a liability case closely watched by the rest of the pharma industry.