AstraZeneca eyes a clotting antidote to its growth hopeful Brilinta

Bolstering sales of Brilinta has been a central focus for AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot as of late, and now the British drugmaker is embarking on another project designed to add some shine to the drug.

FDA to Mallinckrodt: Generic Concerta doesn't measure up to J&J's brand

The FDA's new due diligence on generic drugs now has one victim: Mallinckrodt, which makes a knockoff version of Johnson & Johnson's ADHD drug Concerta. The Dublin-based drugmaker says the FDA is questioning whether its generic actually measures up to the brand.

U.K. unveils top cancer brands facing yea-or-nay for CDF funding

More than two dozen top-selling cancer drugs are on a hit list in the U.K. The country's Cancer Drugs Fund, designed to cover oncology meds not approved by cost-effectiveness watchdogs, plans to take a sharp look at these drugs at a meeting next month. And some of them may find themselves shut out for funding--unless new discount plans are in the offing.

Merck KGaA bucks up on Rebif sales, emerging markets growth

Merck KGaA has long struggled to ramp up its sagging drug portfolio. Now, the German drugmaker is enjoying a change in the wind, announcing third-quarter earnings buoyed by sales of its multiple sclerosis med Rebif and progress in emerging markets.


Actavis ready to thwart Valeant with $60B-plus Allergan buyout: Bloomberg

Heads up, Valeant. Actavis is reportedly in talks to snatch up Allergan--and word is it could happen quickly.

Takeda scrambles to fix glitches in Contrave direct-delivery launch

Takeda Pharmaceuticals saw a problem with recent obesity drug launches: Cost. Private insurers and public payers were refusing coverage--or foisting big copays onto patients--dragging down new drugs marketed by Vivus and Eisai.

Hankering for old-time pharma swag? You might find it on eBay

Branded trinkets evoke memories of pharma marketing days past, when reps carried bags full of gifts to promote their products. Now, tougher policies have most tchotchkes collecting dust.

WSJ: Pfizer spinoff Zoetis might be Valeant's backup plan if Allergan bid fails

Rumor has it, thanks to potential white knight Actavis, Bill Ackman and Valeant face a serious threat to their Allergan hostile bid. But Ackman may already be preparing for another move.

Italy, the land of pharma plenty, boasts three hidden billionaires in its ranks

Italy: the land of good food, rich history and pharma billionaires. The country boasts a number of pharma giants in its ranks thanks to recent deals and the continued success of decades-old businesses.

Winners and losers at AASLD? Check out Merck, AbbVie, Gilead and J&J data

No question, the hepatitis C drug market is about to get even more interesting. With AbbVie's three-drug regimen up for approval before the end of the year, and Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb racing up behind, the market share tussle with current players Gilead Sciences and Johnson & Johnson is coming.

FDA finds another Indian drugmaker selling contaminated drugs

India's Cadila Pharmaceuticals has run afoul of the FDA for not doing enough to track down the source of impurities in some products and failing to investigate when customers complained about odors emanating from its APIs.

U.S. judge blesses Pfizer's $325M settlement in Neurontin class action

A decade-long class action lawsuit against Pfizer over alleged off-label Neurontin marketing is finally wrapping up, with U.S. District Judge Patti Saris approving a $325 million settlement on Monday.

Top teaching hospitals urge Congress to 'review' Genentech distribution change

Roche's Genentech unit is facing more pushback over distribution-channel changes for its three best-selling cancer treatments. Leaders from top U.S. teaching hospitals and medical institutions are asking Congress for an "expedited review" of the Roche unit's decision.

Take as directed? U.K. health service teams with academics, pharmacy on drug adherence

It's an established fact: Many patients don't take their meds as directed. Another established fact: That failure costs the healthcare system hundreds of billions. A third: Solutions are difficult to come by.

Some psych experts want FDA to yank black-box warning on antidepressants

In the 10 years since the FDA found that antidepressants carried an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in teens and slapped a black box warning on the drugs, psychiatry experts remain divided on the warnings' efficacy, with some calling for a removal of the label altogether.

Shire CEO happy to fly solo again after AbbVie deal's collapse

Post-Shire-breakup, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez says his company will be scouting about for other "strategic" M&A hookups. But Shire chief Flemming Ornskov isn't interested in courting another buyer.

Merck's head-to-head Vytorin trial might be surprisingly flattering

Merck & Co. just disclosed some welcome news for its own investors--and potentially for competitors, too. Not to mention all the market watchers ready for the long IMPROVE-IT trial saga to come to an end.

Japan unveils sunshine data of its own, raising eyebrows after Diovan scandal

Just as the dust is settling after the big rollout of doctor-payment data in the U.S., a new round has made its debut--in Japan. According to The Japan News, the country's top 10 drugmakers shelled out 190 billion yen ($1.66 billion) to doctors in fiscal 2013 in the form of research payments, speaking fees, entertainment, medical seminars and the like.

Need more on ex-Sanofi CEO Viehbacher's sudden exit?

If you haven't yet read enough about ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher's departure, check out Bloomberg's latest.

Judge's 'serious questions' about Ackman trading in Allergan may fire SEC into action

Valeant partner and leading Allergan shareholder Bill Ackman may have won the right to vote his shares at a Dec. 18 special meeting, at which he hopes to upturn Allergan's board in favor of a slate more friendly to the Canadian pharma's $54 billion hostile bid. But thanks to a judge's opinion, he may soon have some additional insider-trading allegations on his hands.