Actavis working to add Allergan CEO Pyott to board: Reuters

Back in November, Actavis said it would invite two members of Allergan's board to join the ranks of the new company's directors in the wake of their $66 billion merger. And according to Reuters' sources, Allergan CEO David Pyott is one of them.

Glaxo CEO: Consumer health IPO may be in our future

When GlaxoSmithKline's multibillion-dollar asset swap with Novartis closes this year, don't expect the British pharma giant to stop there, its CEO says--especially when it comes to consumer health.

Janssen agrees to rebate cost of Olysio to England's NHS if it doesn't work

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit has agreed to offer England's National Health Service a money-back guarantee on its hep C fighter Olysio, even as the treatment won approval from the cost watchdog there.

AbbVie wins quick approval for its hep C treatment in Europe

AbbVie has won European Commission approval for its oral hepatitis C cocktail, offering some positive news after some disappointments for the U.S. drugmaker in recent months. It also sets the stage for the drugmaker to take its marketing battle with Gilead Sciences to another continent.

Gilead blazes ahead in hep C pricing battle with two new PBM deals

Gilead Sciences is gaining ground in its hep C pricing battle with AbbVie. One week after the drugmaker joined forces with Anthem to make Harvoni the primary option for the PBM's 30 million patients, Gilead inked similar deals with Humana and Harvard Pilgrim, edging out its competitor and raising the stakes in the companies' ongoing war.


Depomed picks up U.S. Nucynta rights as J&J's cast-off moves continue

Earlier this week, once-skeptical Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky seemed to be fully on-board pharma's slim-down bandwagon, telling presentation-watchers at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference he was willing to jettison pieces of the J&J puzzle if they didn't present a "path to achieving leadership." Now, he's followed up with another divestment that will send U.S. rights to pain med Nucynta to California's Depomed.

Gilead to appeal India patent ruling on niche Sovaldi claim

Gilead Sciences said that an India patent office ruling on hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) only affects an application covering part of the active ingredient and that the larger validity of the uniqueness of the product remains intact as does a path-breaking patient access for the drug.

J&J accuses lawyers of illegally recruiting women to sue over vaginal mesh

Johnson & Johnson, embroiled in litigation over its vaginal mesh product, claims that lawyers solicited women to file suit against the company.

Don't use generic Lyrica for pain, Pfizer warns U.K. providers--or else

Pfizer has written doctors in the U.K. warning them not to prescribe Lyrica knockoffs to treat neuropathic pain. Seems the company still has a live patent covering Lyrica's use against that type of nerve pain.

With Rytary approval in the bag, Impax Labs scouts buyouts in CNS, generics

Sounds like Impax Laboratories' October pickup of Lineage Therapeutics and Tower Holdings was just the beginning of an M&A streak. The company is "aggressively hunting" further buyouts and is in ongoing talks with multiple targets, its CEO says.

Sanofi turns to Boehringer Ingelheim to beef up its biologics production

Sanofi and Regeneron are hard at work on a number of promising monoclonal antibodies, but Sanofi needs more manufacturing capacity to produce them. Instead of building its own like some of its peers, the French company has struck a deal to tap into a Boehringer Ingelheim plant in Germany.

Gilead's Sovaldi the latest casualty in India's patent crusade

India's intellectual-property police nixed a key patent on Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, opening the door for cheap generic copies from domestic drugmakers such as Natco Pharma. It's the latest blow to a multinational drugmaker's ambitions in India, which remains one of the fastest-growing drug markets in the world.

UPDATED: Boehringer weighs $2B-plus sale of U.S. generic biz as part of slimdown regimen

Boehringer Ingelheim has been struggling under the weight of slumping sales and patent expirations for some of its top products, shedding jobs and unloading assets to lighten its load. The German company could be set to slim down further, as it considers selling its U.S.-based generics unit for up to £2 billion ($2.33 billion) to focus on developing new drugs.

World's first inactivated Sabin polio vaccine approved by China FDA

China's FDA has awarded marketing approval of the world's first Sabin strain inactivated polio vaccine, marking a milestone as well for the Institute of Medical Biology of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Armed with Pegasus win, AstraZeneca targets another sales boost for Brilinta

Soon after CEO Pascal Soriot took over at AstraZeneca in 2012, he declared Brilinta to be a big opportunity for growth. That was a surprise, given the blood thinner's laggardly sales since its 2011 launch. But Soriot put cash on the table to back up his hunch, with plans for big outcomes studies, stepped-up advertising, and an expanded cadre of sales reps.

Drug adherence gets a boost from gamification, new study says

Racking up points for filling prescriptions or taking home prizes for sticking with meds might sound like a far-flung concept. But according to a new study from HealthPrize Technologies, the technique actually works. 

With hep C price deals made, Express Scripts eyes PCSK9 meds--and then cancer

Now that Express Scripts--and rival CVS Health--have cost-slashing exclusives with hep C drugmakers, the activist PBM says it's ready to take on the forthcoming class of cholesterol-fighters known as PCSK9 inhibitors, too.

German cost gatekeeper spurns Gilead's Zydelig for CLL

Gilead Sciences was dealt a stinging blow from Germany's price watchdog IQWiG over its cancer-fighting drug Zydelig (idealisib), as the cost-effectiveness gatekeeper found the drug has no added benefit for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared with existing therapies.

Big Pharma vs. 'growth pharma'? Let Actavis chief detail the differences

SAN FRANCISCO--Actavis may be a big pharma now that it's joining hands with Allergan, but it's not a Big Pharma, CEO Brent Saunders insists. The merger partners are taking the term "growth pharma" and running with it as they set out to differentiate themselves from the industry's slow-growing stalwarts.

UPDATED: JPM: Glaxo ready to shift off Advair; BMS isn't afraid of Merck; Roche eyes combos and M&A

SAN FRANCISCO--Here's a game to play at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Attend presentations by executives at Big Pharma, Big Biotech, and slightly less big biopharma companies, hoping to hear something new and different they're willing to say in public. Here's the latest from FiercePharma's notebook.