News

Sovaldi payer pushback hurting access for opioid treatment patients

Payers have been getting creative as they look for ways to minimize the damage of Gilead's $84,000-per-treatment-course hep C wonder drug Sovaldi to their budgets and bottom lines. Now, some are balking at covering the med for those enrolled in opioid treatment programs.

BMS, Pfizer marketing efforts have Eliquis showing signs of life

Eliquis, the third entrant in the next-gen anticoagulant market, got off to a sluggish start. But now, marketers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer are pulling out all the stops when it comes to promoting the drug and expanding access

Communiqué to sales reps: With today's docs, it's the medium and the message

Almost half of doctors bar their doors to pharma sales reps some way, somehow. What with all the talk about rep access to physicians, that state of things may seem quote-unquote normal. But it's not. Just 6 years ago, the numbers were quite different.

Sovaldi forces Incivek off the hep C market as Vertex calls it quits

Bye-bye, Incivek. Just three years after nabbing the "fastest drug launch ever" award, maker Vertex is discontinuing the hepatitis C med on withering demand. For that, the Cambridge-based company has Gilead Sciences--owner of the new fastest drug launch ever--to thank.

With pharma sales down, AZ Electronic Materials saves the day, or the quarter, for Merck KGaA

Germany's Merck KGaA's pharma side remains weak after several years of cuts and consolidation. It needs to be built back up, perhaps through acquisitions, CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley concedes. Until then, the company is counting on its chemicals and electronics operations to buoy its results.

NICE says social values, along with cost, need to be factored into decisions

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wants to know what "societal values" should be considered, along with cost and efficiency, when making decisions. Now an appointed group of 30 people have given it that feedback, PMLive reports.

Wockhardt's earnings devastated by FDA bans

With FDA bans in place on two plants, India's Wockhardt saw its profits slip in the first part of this year. But with access to its largest market still severely curtailed, Wockhardt has been unable to get its financial footing and profits went crashing in its last quarter, off 94%.

Brazil fines Merck KGaA $1.8M for alleged generics conspiracy

Conspiring to keep distributors from working with generic drugmakers is a no-no in Brazil, and the country's antitrust regulator is fining Merck KGaA for allegedly doing just that. And while the move harkens back to a meeting that happened 5 years ago, it's reflective of actions taken more recently by regulators in the U.S. and EU.

Valeant's No. 3 shareholder: We don't need Allergan

A top Valeant shareholder isn't saying the company can't win its hostile $53 billion takeover battle for Allergan. It's just saying it doesn't need to.

Boehringer Ingelheim cutting jobs in 15% cost reduction move

Boehringer Ingelheim Monday laid out the bad news about its revenues for the year. Sales were down more than 3% in the first 6 months and will be down in single digits for the year. With no relief in sight this year, the German company is looking to cut costs, starting with positions in its home country.

Syria broadens corruption accusations against GlaxoSmithKline

Last month, a whistleblower sent a letter to GlaxoSmithKline alleging "multiple corrupt and illegal practices" in the company's Syrian consumer health operation before it was shut down in 2012. Now it appears the problems may have extended to GSK's prescription drug business in Syria, which is still in operation.

Denmark's Forward Pharma to launch IP attack on Biogen Idec's MS superstar Tecfidera

Biogen Idec's multibillion-selling multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera is grabbing market share left and right, but Denmark's Forward Pharma says it has a plan to take on the monster seller with its own product.

Boehringer Ingelheim sees drug sales fall, says rest of the year will also be tough

Boehringer Ingelheim is having a tough year with its drug business, seeing more than a 5% fall in sales in the first 6 months. The Germany-based company forecasts revenues will be down for the year as well, but it says by getting its house in order, its finances can improve after that. It has settled some nagging litigation and sold some assets, and it's about ready to launch some newly approved drugs.

Will threats of an inversion crackdown quash pharma's foreign-deal bonanza?

U.S. legislators are threatening to make it more difficult for American companies to take off for a new home in a tax-advantaged country. But what's in store for drugmakers who have already wrapped their own so-called tax inversion deals--and those who are planning them for the future?

New use for Bayer's Eylea in EU gives it more market power against Novartis' Lucentis

The European Commission has approved Bayer's Eylea (aflibercept) for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes.

Weber intends to build Takeda into a global player but stay true to its Japanese heritage

Takeda Pharmaceuticals' new French-born CEO knows he is seen as an outsider by many Japanese, including some of Takeda's alumni. He appreciates their concerns and says Takeda will remain a Japanese-based company, true to its heritage. But he also knows the man who hired him expects him to build the company into a global contender and says that is what he intends to do.

Former top Sanofi exec Whitaker nabbed by Synta to shuttle cancer drug to market

Less than a week after mysteriously leaving a prestigious post as president of Sanofi's North American pharma unit, Anne Whitaker has tackled a rather different challenge, accepting the CEO job at Synta Pharmaceuticals, a company that has struggled to get any drugs out of its pipeline since its founding 13 years ago.

FT sources: RBS' Hampton top contender to succeed Glaxo chair

A bribery scandal in China, with other probes ongoing in the Middle East and Europe. Mounting competition to declining top drug Advair. And so-far-lackluster launches of the products tabbed as future respiratory stars. So, who wants to be GlaxoSmithKline's next chairman?

White House looks for path to provide experimental Ebola drugs to infected patients

The Obama administration, under mounting pressure, intends to craft a policy for using experimental drugs to treat the Ebola virus, Reuters reports. The White House Friday said it is setting up a working group to consider the use of drugs on the hundreds patients in Africa infected by the deadly virus, which has killed nearly 1,000 so far.

UPDATED: GSK's private eye sentenced to 2.5 years in Chinese prison

China finally has a verdict on the husband-wife investigator team linked to GlaxoSmithKline's bribery scandal: U.K. citizen Peter Humphrey is headed for 2.5 years behind bars, and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, will get 2 years, Pharmafile reports.