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.

Sources: Novartis faces yet another sanction in Japan

In case Novartis didn't get the message the first two times around about how displeased Japanese authorities are about its missteps in the country, they are expected to once again censure the Swiss drugmaker.  

Republican presidential candidates jump into drug pricing debate

Democratic presidential candidates have been railing against skyrocketing drug prices, unveiling proposals and in some cases, rolling out legislation to combat them. Now, amid growing public backlash over the issue, Republican presidential hopefuls are starting to jump into the fray with their own plans to rein in pricing.

Pfizer, Allergan eyeing Saunders for CEO spot if a deal goes through: Bloomberg

Pfizer and Allergan are currently in "friendly" merger talks. And if they do tie the knot, it's looking like Allergan CEO Brent Saunders will take the helm.

Lawsuit claims Sanofi dragged its feet on Lemtrada OK to avoid rights payoff

Sanofi is accused of stalling its multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada to avoid paying out $708 million to rights holders as required by its 2011 deal to buy Genzyme. As part of that deal, the French drugmaker agreed to a series of milestone payments, including an FDA approval deadline for Lemtrada.

Allergan, shut down on Namenda hard switch, takes it up with SCOTUS

Earlier this year, when a U.S. appeals court officially thwarted Allergan's plan to force patients over to a new, patent-protected version of Namenda before generics hit, it looked like doom for the strategy. But now, Allergan is taking the matter to the Supreme Court.

With $10B deal hunt, Amgen looks even more like Big Pharma

Amgen has been edging toward a Big Pharma qualification for some time--not only with annual revenues that last year surpassed Eli Lilly & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb, but with investor-friendly trappings like dividends, buybacks and billion-dollar cost cuts.

Scandal-plagued Valeant CEO focuses on damage control

In the wake of its scrapped relationship with under-fire specialty pharmacy Philidor, Valeant is working to develop a new access program for dermatologists--something it thinks it can do within the next 90 days. But it'll take a lot longer than that for the dermatology business to recover.

Short-seller Citron spotlights Mallinckrodt as 'worse offender' than Valeant

Infamous short-seller Citron Research has another pharma in its sights: Mallinckrodt. The reason? Apparently, its aggressive pricing on H.P. Acthar Gel--and potential payer pushback against those prices.

UPDATED: J&J slapped with $1.75M verdict in Risperdal breast growth case

Johnson & Johnson lost another courtroom battle over claims that the company failed to warn doctors and patients that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could cause breast growth in boys, a blow for the company as it continues to deal with related cases.

How badly does Pfizer need a tax inversion? Depends how you parse the numbers

How big is Pfizer's "tremendous disadvantage" from its U.S. tax rate? Bigger when you report your foreign earnings the way the pharma giant does. Pfizer told shareholders it had a 25.5% global tax rate in 2014, but had it reported its foreign earnings the way most U.S. companies do, that figure could have dropped to 7.5%, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sanofi's back-to-growth strategy fails to impress analysts

If Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt wanted to win over analysts with Friday's pronouncements about the company's future, he must be disappointed now. A slew of investment firms cut their price targets and several downgraded the shares, as the French drugmaker's strategy for future growth was outweighed by warnings about stagnant earnings for the next few years.

UPDATED: Chicago makes second run at Allergan, J&J, Purdue and others with painkiller lawsuit

Opioid makers thought they had dodged a litigation bullet 6 months ago when a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the City of Chicago trying to hold them accountable for an "epidemic" of painkiller, and even heroin, abuse. But the city is being tenacious and has refiled lawsuits claiming 6 drugmakers overstated the claims of the drugs' benefits while downplaying their risks.

With just 50 reps to Takeda's 900, Vivus' Qsymia beats Contrave on Q3 sales

Takeda has 900 reps behind Orexigen's Contrave--but is that investment worth it? Maybe not, RBC Capital Markets' Simos Simeonidis suggested recently in a note to investors. Vivus' Qsymia--with just 50 reps supporting the product--hauled in $14 million in Q3 revenue, compared with just $12.8 million for Contrave. 

Lilly, Merck join Valeant in DOJ spotlight with new inquiries on pricing

Big Pharma has been getting it from all sides lately over drug pricing, with companies such as Valeant taking most of the heat as lawmakers, presidential candidates and the public weigh in on the issue. But now Eli Lilly and Merck are joining Valeant in the hot seat as the U.S. Department of Justice probes the companies over how they report prices to government-funded drug programs.