It's payers vs. pharma and vice versa as Washington targets drug prices

Politicians and government officials have been turning up the heat on drug prices. Now, that pressure has pharma companies pointing the finger at insurers that are putting a bigger share of drug costs on patients' backs. But insurers are pointing right back.

History suggests a Pfizer-Allergan hookup would mean sizable cuts in manufacturing

The history of both Pfizer and Allergan suggests that a merger would mean headcount across the board would be trimmed and that the manufacturing network would be in line early for a haircut.

Big three PBMs cut loose more specialty pharmacies as scrutiny grows

Pharmacy benefit managers have broadened their crackdown on specialty pharmacies, with at least 8 cut off from reimbursement in recent days. The PBMs are targeting pharmacies with close ties to particular drugmakers, saying the relationships favor brands over generics, jacking up health spending and running afoul of their own reimbursement rules.

Dealmaking drugmakers 'blacklist' investors to fend off activists

With pharma M&A growing at a steady clip, pressure from activist shareholders is also reaching new heights. But drugmakers have a few tricks up their sleeve for warding off the unwanted attention, including blacklisting firms to prevent them from taking a stake in the company once a deal goes through.

Top 20 generics companies by 2014 revenue

According to data from the market intelligence miners at EvaluatePharma, worldwide sales of generic drugs in 2014 were $74.2 billion, up 7% for the year. Of that, the top 20 generics producers collected $61.7 billion, 83.1% of the take.

Merck may appeal to Supreme Court after again losing fight to protect Cubicin patents

Merck & Co. is running low on options after a federal appeals court Thursday again declined to back four patents that would have held at bay for 5 more years generics of the antibiotic Cubicin, the drug that was key to its $9.5 billion buyout of Cubist. Next up may be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mylan fails in hostile quest to buy Perrigo

Pharma's longest-running takeover battle of the year has come to an end--and not in pursuer Mylan's favor. The company has failed to garner the support necessary for a takeover of Perrigo, a target it's been pursuing since April. As of 8 a.m. Friday, about 40% of Perrigo's shares had been tendered, Mylan said, missing the 50% threshold necessary for it to push forward with the transaction.

Gilead scores additional indications for Harvoni in hep C, HIV patients

Gilead Sciences enjoys top dog status in the hep C market with Sovaldi and combo drug Harvoni, and the drugmaker wants to keep it that way. The company recently scored FDA approval for new indications for Harvoni in patients with HIV and certain subtypes of hep C, giving Gilead more ammo as it protects its market share from archival AbbVie.

Regeneron expanding New York campus again, adding 300 jobs

Rapidly expanding Eylea-maker Regeneron Thursday announced that it will invest another $150 million to grow its Tarrytown, NY, campus with plans to add another 300 jobs, The Journal News reports.

Analysts improve outlook for Teva's Copaxone as it shakes off Novartis competition

Teva did everything in its power to block generic copies of lead drug Copaxone from hitting the market. But now that one is here--Novartis' Glatopa--the Israeli drugmaker's giant is faring better than industry watchers expected.

UPDATED: Roche cutting 1,200 jobs in major shift in producing drugs

Roche will close four plants and lay off 1,200 people as it moves toward more biologics and new specialized small-molecule drugs require less capacity. The drugmaker will take a $1.6 billion charge to cover the move as it plays out over the next 5 years.

Women sue Endo and Patheon after mixed-up contraceptives result in pregnancies

What is a drugmaker's responsibility when a packaging problem results in an unplanned pregnancy and the consumer is looking for financial support for raising a child they weren't prepared to have? That is what more than 100 women intend to discern with suits against Endo Health Solutions and Patheon.

Gilead, Regeneron emerge from pricing storm unscathed (so far)

All the hullabaloo over pharma's drug-pricing practices has taken its toll on several of the industry's stocks. But not Gilead Sciences and Regeneron: While both sank in September on Hillary Clinton's announcement that she'd be cracking down on "price-gouging," they've climbed their way back up.

Novartis, Roche CEOs see performance-based future, but U.S. isn't ready yet

Amgen may have pulled off a pay-for-performance pricing deal on its pricey new cholesterol drug Repatha with Boston-based Harvard Pilgrim. But other outcomes-based pricing negotiations haven't been as successful, and there are major reasons why.

Valeant employees closely involved with Philidor operations: Reuters

Valeant's ad hoc committee isn't the only group probing Valeant's ties to specialty pharmacy Philidor. One new report says a small group of the company's employees was deeply involved in running the pharmacy, before the drugmaker cut off the relationship last month.

Merck KGaA beats in Q3 despite competition to MS injectable Rebif

Merck KGaA has been working on boosting business for a while now, striking deals and implementing a series of job cuts and reorgs to turn things around. Some of that work paid off in Q3, with earnings that beat the Street's predictions and better-than-expected sales for its top seller Rebif, even as the injectable MS med faces competition from newer oral rivals.

U.S. judge orders Valeant, Ackman to face insider trading suit

Remember last year, when Valeant was squarely focused on a hostile pursuit of Allergan? A California judge does--and he's ordering the drugmaker and takeover partner Bill Ackman to face a lawsuit accusing the pair of insider trading.

Ready to rumble, Novartis? Roche targets melanoma-fighting combo market with new FDA nod

When Novartis bought GlaxoSmithKline's oncology business, the newest products were a pair of targeted melanoma drugs, Taflinlar and Mekinist. The two meds had racked up trial data showing they beat Roche's own targeted drug Zelboraf when used in tandem.

Bondholders bail on Valeant amid cash flow concerns

Valeant may have terminated its relationship with controversial specialty pharmacy Philidor, but the move is going to cost it, with its dermatology and neurology businesses set to suffer. And concern is mounting among debt investors that the disruption to Valeant's cash flow could raise the risk of the company violating lender limits on its debt burden--a prospect that has some of them heading for the door, Bloomberg reports. 

Express Scripts cuts off Horizon-linked pharmacy in widening crackdown

Earlier this month, in the wake of Valeant's canceled relationship with controversial specialty pharmacy Philidor, Express Scripts said it would take a hard look at other specialty pharmacies that deal mostly with a single drugmaker. And now, it's cutting off one that works closely with Ireland's Horizon Pharmaceuticals.