News

Hey, Big Pharma: When the feds swoop in, be nice. It worked for Shire

Shire and the U.S. Justice Department have come to terms: The Ireland-based drugmaker agreed to pay $56.5 million to settle a variety of alleged marketing violations. So far, so familiar, given the long list of pharma companies that wrapped up similar investigations.

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.

Overseas limits on J&J's Olysio use might signal trouble back home

Johnson & Johnson pessimists are already worried that Olysio will have a short, happy, busy life and an all-too-sudden end.

GlaxoSmithKline soon to name RBS chair Hampton as next chairman

The folks looking for a switcheroo at the top of GlaxoSmithKline may get their wish by the weekend. Sources tell Sky News that GSK is set to name a new chairman to replace Christopher Gent: Philip Hampton, now chairman at Royal Bank of Scotland and a widely reported frontrunner for the GSK job.

Oh, what a tangled web of pharma M&A, starring Pfizer, Actavis, Allergan and Salix

Anyone else feel like we need a mind map to keep track of the incestuous M&A talks going on in pharma right now?

BMS will get cozy and collaborative at new U.S. campus

The U.S. drugmaker will build a new campus in New Jersey for about 2,500 that it promises will pump up "collaboration, creativity and innovation," much as Biogen Idec, Novartis and others have done before it.

Hamburg called on to resign for FDA's approval of Zohydro

The FDA approved opioid painkiller Zohydro nearly a year ago as a med to provide relief for those with chronic pain. But the drug has been nothing but 11 months of aggravation for the agency and its leader, Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who is now being called on to resign by organized anti-addiction groups who say the FDA has contributed to an epidemic of abuse in the country.

Ackman threatens Allergan with lawsuit if Salix deal is sealed

The ongoing attempt by Allergan to thwart a Valeant takeover by bulking up with an acquisition of its own has officially turned nasty. On Tuesday, activist investor William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management sent a letter to Allergan threatening to sue the company if it goes ahead with its plan to buy Salix Pharmaceuticals--a deal that reportedly could exceed $10 billion.

GSK says risk is low from vaccine-contaminated water released into Belgian river

GlaxoSmithKline has been working with Belgian officials after "human error," resulted in 45 liters of cleaning liquid contaminated with poliovirus to get dumped into a city sewer system and subsequently into the Lasne River.

India reins in agency's ability to cap drug prices

Price caps on "essential drugs" in India have been a sore point with domestic as well as Big Pharma players. The industry was further enraged when an Indian agency in May assumed the authority to add other products to the 350 already restricted. But the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reining in the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), suggesting he may have a less populous approach to the industry than his predecessor.

Tax-deal crackdown's victims, say analysts? Mylan and Abbott, not Pfizer and AZ

Pfizer and AstraZeneca, AbbVie and Shire, Hospira and Danone. Those are a few of the merger pairs--actual or potential--that stand to lose from U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's new tax-inversion-fighting rules. Just take a look at AstraZeneca and Shire's market value today: together down $8 billion.

Heads will roll at GlaxoSmithKline, investors say. The question is, whose?

China corruption settlement, check. Now GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty needs to come to terms with investors. With quarterly sales off and new drugs lagging, shareholders are demanding change at the top--and this time, some are willing to go on the record.

Allergan rebuffed Actavis bid, saying it's 'closing in' on a $10B-plus Salix buy

Allergan might have had a reason to play nice with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. When the two companies agreed to set a special shareholder meeting about Valeant's hostile bid, Allergan was busy with two other potential deals.

Faltering Boehringer slashes 600 jobs in Germany in bid to save $580M

The bloodletting in Big Pharma continues with news today that Boehringer Ingelheim is planning between 500 and 600 job cuts in its home country of Germany. The cuts come just a few weeks after the company announced its sales had dropped 3% in the first 6 months of the year and full-year results would likely be down slightly from last year.

Amgen goes to FDA early with new leukemia drug

Amgen is hoping to redeem its drug development rep by going to the FDA with an application for its new leukemia drug blinatumomab based on promising Phase II data, FierceBiotech reports.

Par settles patent suit and will pay Salix and MU $100M in fight over Zegerid copy

Generic drugmaker Par Pharmaceutical is throwing in the towel in its long-running fight with Santarus ($SNTS) over its heartburn med Zegerid, and $100 million along with it. It reported today that the payment will settle their back-and-forth patent suit.

 

AstraZeneca builds up in-house IT operations with 300 in India

AstraZeneca's cost-cutting announcement actually had a hiring aspect to it. It is building a global network of IT centers that will replace the technology outsourcing it has been doing for more than a dozen years.

Auxilium says Endo offer not enough to break off with QLT

And so the M&A dance begins. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals today turned its back on a $2.2 billion buyout offer it received last week from Endo Pharmaceutical and said it would stick instead with its plan to merge with Canadian eye-drug maker QLT.

Merck KGaA declares $17B Sigma purchase 'quantum leap' as drug biz struggles

Speculation has been brewing all year about the prospect of Germany's Merck KGaA turning to M&A to bolster its unproductive drug pipeline, and today the company confirmed it has struck a deal, agreeing to buy Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion.

Eylea gets yet another approval, this one in Japan

The approvals, and the sales, just keep piling up for Eylea, the blockbuster that Bayer shares with developer Regeneron. Just weeks after getting an important nod in Europe, it has won approval in Japan, the world's third largest market, for use in myopic choroidal neovascularization.