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If Allergan has a pickup to make, make it now, shareholders say

Allergan has said it's working on some plans of its own to give investors "most of what they want" instead of the $53 billion hostile bid that Valeant and lead Allergan shareholder Pershing Square have put before them. And if those plans include a pickup of its own, it better get to it, shareholders say.

Valeant completes sale of products to Nestle for $1.4B

Nestlé will grab North American rights for antiwrinkle treatments Restylane, Perlane, Emervel and Dysport.

Pharmacist's theft of $5.6M worth of oxycodone is sure to escalate backlash

Already dealing with a growing backlash from politicians and law enforcement accusing it of recklessly marketing opioids, the pharmaceutical industry now has to face down a report that a hospital pharmacy director for years was walking out with thousands of oxycodone pills. It is a revelation that is sure to add to the growing debate.

 

Baxter gets C-suite lined up ahead of pharma spinoff

Baxter has tapped a couple of new execs for the biopharma unit it plans to spin off next year. And with new competition in one of the division's bigger markets, its new leaders could have their work cut out for them.

NICE likes Lundbeck's alcohol-addiction drug Selincro

Lundbeck has gotten a recommendation from the U.K. cost watchdog for its alcohol-addiction drug Selincro. It is estimated that there are about 600,000 potential users in the U.K. A final decision is slated for fall.

Insurers balk at pricey generic version of ancient GSK heart drug

The heart drug digoxin--a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's Lanoxin--used to cost just pennies a pill, making it a prescription that insurance companies were more than happy to cover. Not anymore. The three companies that make generic digoxin have been increasing their prices, causing the cost of the drug to nearly double in the last year.

Which big brands will still be bringing in the big bucks in 2020?

Best-selling drugs did well for themselves in 2013, churning out more than $76 billion in sales. But big-name brands could stand the test of time and help the top 10 rake in more than $80 billion in 2020, according to a new report.

M&A spotlight: Allergan plots cost cuts to ward off Valeant, AbbVie may have to raise Shire bid--again

Allergan can't stop Valeant from attempting to round up enough support to call a special meeting, overturn its board and strike its takeover defenses. But it can make moves it believes will convince shareholders it's better off standing on its own two feet.

Judge tosses decade-old investor suit against Pfizer and Celebrex weeks before trial

A long-running and often contentious securities lawsuit tied to Pfizer's vilified pain drugs Celebrex and Bextra was set for a September trial, but is going into the dustbin of history instead. A federal judge in New York has dismissed the case a decade after it was filed and 9 weeks before proceedings were to commence.

Sanofi hits Lilly with more Lantus infringement charges

Sanofi has already slapped Eli Lilly with one patent infringement lawsuit over its Lantus copy, effectively keeping the competitor off the market until at least mid-2016. But now, it's filed another, wider suit.

Actavis cans 190 Forest workers while 6 execs share up to $186M in deal 'awards'

There are winners and losers in mergers, and as a general rule, executives win and at least some workers lose. That certainly is the case with Actavis and Forest Laboratories. While nearly 200 Forest employees in the St. Louis, MO, area got pink slips this week, top execs will receive up to $186 million in "merger success awards" for closing the $25 billion deal.

Salix picks up Cosmo's Irish unit for $2.7B and a lower tax bill

Yet another U.S. company is orchestrating a deal that will allow it to move overseas and slash its tax rate. Salix Pharmaceuticals of North Carolina says it will merge with an Ireland-based unit of Cosmo Pharmaceutical and buy out some of its patents for drugs to treat gastrointestinal diseases for $2.7 billion in stock.

EU's third pay-for-delay action nails Servier, Teva, Mylan and others

European regulators are getting the hang of levying pay-for-delay penalties, rolling up 6 companies in its latest action and fining them more than half a billion dollars in the process.

Move by French government encourages docs to use Roche's Avastin over Lucentis

Roche's Avastin is often prescribed off label as a cheaper alternative to its Lucentis for treating wet age-related macular degeneration. Now French lawmakers are encouraging the practice as a way to save the country money.

Belgium's Omega Pharma may be the next seller in OTC deal wave

Lately, OTC businesses have been selling like hotcakes, with a number of global consumer players looking to bulk up. Now, reports say Belgium's Omega Pharma could be the next to enter the deal arena with an OTC business worth more than $4 billion.

Novartis accused again of kickback tactics in new whistleblower suit

Kickback accusations have yet again been raised against Novartis, a company that four years ago promised to live by a new integrity code. A former exec now suggests she was fired for suggesting similar methods in the way Novartis planned to award a contract to wholesaler and health services company McKesson.

AbbVie puts $51.5B on the table in fourth go at Shire

After three failed bids for Shire, AbbVie's hoping the fourth will be the charm. The Abbott spinoff has sweetened its offer, upping its price to £30.1 billion ($51.5 billion) to lure the Irish drugmaker to the bargaining table.

Merck attacks Italian critic of cholesterol fighter Zetia, then backs off

In February and again in May, Merck sent a cease-and-desist order to Alberto Donzelli, head of education, appropriateness, and evidence-based medicine at Milan's public health authority. Donzelli had openly criticized Merck's cholesterol-lowering drug Ezetrol (ezetimibe), which is sold in the U.S. as Zetia. Now the company is doing an about-face.

Ackman puts forth his slate of new Allergan directors

Things are getting real in leading shareholder Pershing Square Capital Management's fight to overturn Allergan's board and install a new slate of directors more amenable to Valeant's $53 billion buyout offer. Monday, Pershing Square--run by Valeant's takeover partner, Bill Ackman--announced the proposed slate of 6 new directors it hopes will help it seal the deal.

Report: When it comes to drug spending, DOD pays the highest price

In a recent study, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) took a sample of 78 widely used drugs, including both brand-named and generic products, and looked at prices paid by Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Defense (DOD).