News

Need to know which drugs are in short supply? FDA has an app for that

To help healthcare providers more easily track drug shortages, the FDA has released a mobile app that will allow anyone to use a smartphone to look up current shortages and discontinuations as well as shortages that have been resolved.

Aspen eyes more overseas buys after recent deals pay off

South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare is looking for more overseas products and companies to snap up. CEO Stephen Saad tells Reuters that he's "looking the hardest" in Asia.

Mallinckrodt ponies up $2.3B for Ikaria and its neonatal respiratory med

Mallinckrodt will slap down $2.3 billion to buy Ikaria, a privately held drug company, and its respiratory med for babies in neonatal ICUs. The deal will help Mallinckrodt grow its hospital drugs business, with a $150 million boost to revenue this year.

Oregon, Illinois join state crusade to limit patient copays

Call it the copay dance. Payers use high copays to steer patients away from pricey brands and toward cheaper alternatives, or even cheaper generics. Drugmakers use copay coupons and cards to steer patients back on course toward their brands.

AbbVie backs up aging Humira with $21B Pharmacyclics deal

After nixing his company's $55 billion deal for Shire last fall, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez reminded investors that his company still had the "wherewithal to be active on the M&A front." Now, he's putting his money where his mouth is--and shelling out $21 billion for cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics.

BMS leapfrogs Merck with Opdivo approval in lung cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb may have been second to market with PD-1 drug Opdivo, but as of Wednesday, it's the first to snag a second go-ahead for the cancer fighter--and it's a big one.

Orexigen blabs results early, but wins analyst confidence in the process

The FDA isn't happy with Orexigen, which put out some early positive cardio data for obesity drug Contrave on Tuesday. The way the FDA sees it, the data were too early. In fact, it had already asked Orexigen for a second outcomes study because it had shared the info with too many people.

Genentech: Hospitals aren't telling us about distribution-related treatment delays

Genentech begs to differ with a survey finding that its new distribution method is delaying treatment for some cancer patients. Hospitals may be complaining in press releases about the change to Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin purchasing, but they're not reporting particular treatment problems to the company, Genentech says.

Want to stay out of trouble, pharma? Compliance, disclosure are key, SEC enforcer says

Listen up, pharma companies: The Securities and Exchange Commission sees a few places where you might get yourselves into sticky situations. But there's an easy way to avoid trouble, and that's to beef up compliance and disclosure.

Takeda's Weber must execute now that he is CEO

Japan's Takeda today officially named French national Christophe Weber its first non-Japanese CEO. The 49-year-old Weber, who takes over April 1, will now have to show whether he can succeed where so many other foreign heads of Japanese companies have not.

FDA calls for heart, stroke warnings on 'Low T' meds

The FDA threw another hurdle in the path of drugmakers selling "Low T" drugs, requiring manufacturers to update labels to warn that the meds could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes and should not be prescribed to treat age-related symptoms.

Which pharma needs its cash cow most? It's not just about numbers

Ten companies count on one top product to supply a major chunk of their sales, the business news site Quartz calculates. And several of those are either anticipating some serious pain from a near-term patent expiration or already suffering from competition.

Merck's Rebif held its own in last year's MS market shakeup. What about 2015?

With oral rivals lurking for Rebif, the leading drug from Merck KGaA, the good news for the German pharma is that the news isn't that bad.

Valeant welcomes Dendreon into the fold with a 77-job shearing

It's no secret that when serial acquirer and cost-cutting enthusiast Valeant takes over a company, layoffs are on the way. And for Dendreon, the bankrupt Seattle biotech whose assets the Canadian snatched up last month, they've already begun.

Gilead's hep C combo Harvoni wins NICE blessing at $58K price

The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs gave a thumbs up to Gilead Sciences' combo hepatitis C pill Harvoni, despite its £39,000 price, or about $58,000. The pill combines Gilead's new blockbuster hep C drug Sovaldi with another antiviral, ledipasvir, and has delivered impressive cure rates.

Novartis CEO: We can rebuild our good name after 'reputational hit' in Japan

What's going to save Novartis' reputation in Japan? Science, says CEO Joe Jimenez, a week after the government suspended his Japanese unit for failure to report side effects.

Genentech's cancer drug supply switch costs more, delays treatment, survey finds

Top hospitals are still irate about Genentech's decision to move its best-selling cancer drugs to specialty distributors. And they're not giving up on persuading the company to change back.

To avoid becoming deal bait, Mylan CEO may have to make another big buy

It's been less than a week since Mylan completed its deal with Abbott, scooping up a large chunk of the Illinois company's overseas generics business. But CEO Heather Bresch is already hinting at another big transaction.

Was Onyx worth it? Amgen's case is looking up as Kyprolis bests Velcade in head-to-head trial

Interim results are in from Amgen's head-to-head trial between its blood cancer drug Kyprolis and Takeda's Velcade, and things are looking good for the California biotech. Twice as good as they are for Takeda, in fact, when it comes to progression-free survival.

Medicare urged to crack down on antipsychotic scripts for dementia sufferers

The Obama administration is already working with nursing homes to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotic meds such as Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa. But federal investigators now say officials need to focus on overuse in dementia patients.