News

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.

Novartis can't convince judge to free it from kickbacks case

Novartis has failed again to convince a federal judge to boot a Department of Justice kickbacks case against it that claims the Swiss drugmaker showered pharmacies with discounts and rebates to boost sales of two drugs.

UPDATED: Pfizer faces growing legal threat over Lipitor

Sales of Lipitor, the best-selling drug of all time, may be waning, but litigation over the cholesterol fighter is growing--a lot.

NICE raises ire of breast cancer patients with rejection of Roche's Kadcyla

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued its final draft guidance for Kadcyla, which declares the drug is too expensive to cover.

Pharma shares sink as U.S. threatens tax-inversion crackdown

U.S. drugmakers have embraced the tax inversion strategy with open arms as of late, buying up foreign companies right and left and hauling overseas to take advantage of their lower rates. But U.S. officials are looking to stop them in their tracks--an intent that has some pharma investors worried.

Gilead Sciences prices Sovaldi in India at a tiny fraction of U.S. cost

The $84,000 U.S. treatment price that Gilead Sciences is charging for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi has elicited pleas from politicians and threats from payers, who say the U.S. healthcare system cannot bear the cost. But in India, Gilead will offer it at a discount--a 99% discount.

Sanofi enlists Emcure for cancer-drug marketing in India

To aid it with marketing its oncology lineup in India, the French drugmaker has brought on local company Emcure Pharmaceuticals, PMLiVE reports.

U.K. cost-effectiveness watchdog bars access to AstraZeneca's Iressa

Backtracking on a positive decision it made four years ago, Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has dealt a blow to AstraZeneca by withdrawing its endorsement of the company's drug Iressa for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients who have failed previous treatments.