Gilead's pricey Sovaldi lost a patent in India. Now, its EU patent is under siege

Gilead Sciences might have expected a hepatitis C patent challenge in India. But in Europe? Not so much. But that's exactly what Gilead is getting. After losing its bid for a new Indian patent covering its blockbuster treatment Sovaldi, Gilead is now threatened with a similar action at the European Patent Office in Munich.

Humira biosimilars will gut AbbVie's sales in 3 years, analyst says

Pharma analysts have different opinions on how much branded drugmakers will feel the heat from biosimilars--and when they'll feel it. But according to one Citi analyst, they're all underestimating the impact on AbbVie's top dog.

FDA puts off Mylan's Nexium generic, giving Teva's version free rein

Good news for Teva when it comes to Mylan's generic version of AstraZeneca's Nexium: It won't be around for a little while.

Showdown time for Amgen, Sandoz, with Neupogen biosim hearing set March 2

Novartis and its Neupogen biosimilar are steamrolling toward the U.S. market. But Amgen hasn't given up stopping the product in its tracks. The biotech last week urged a California court to block the biosimilar launch, with FDA approval expected as soon as March 9.

Singapore plans universal healthcare blending public and private hospitals

SINGAPORE--Singapore plans to offer a version of universal healthcare that builds on catastrophic insurance mandatory under the country's Central Provident fund.

Strides Arcolab, Shasun merger in India faces shareholder test

SINGAPORE--A proposed $200 million merger between India's Strides Arcolab and Shasun Pharmaceuticals is about to be tested by Shasun's shareholders.

From the pharma C-suite: Notable, quotable remarks on Asia, emerging markets

FiercePharma brings you notes on the Asian and emerging markets operations of major drug companies from fourth-quarter earnings calls to explain what C-suite executives are focused on.

Daiichi's new clot-fighter Savaysa can't make up for $2.6B Benicar patent loss: analysts

Daiichi Sankyo's got a big revenue hurdle coming up, with top treatment Benicar set to lose patent protection next year. A black-box warning on its new drug Savaysa isn't helping matters. So analysts are wondering what the company can do to plug the forthcoming sales holes.

FDA to pharma: Scrap that fine-print risk info in DTC ads

Look for some big changes next time you run across a magazine ad for Crestor or Viagra or any of the brands on heavy rotation. The FDA has decided that its long-standing disclose-all policy on side effects was wrong. Way wrong.

Guinea approves Fujifilm's Avigan to treat early Ebola cases

SINGAPORE--The head of Guinea's Ebola-response program wasted no time in announcing approval of broader use of Fujifilm's Avigan (favipiravir) influenza drug for treating early cases of Ebola in the West Africa nation.

Roche boasts new Lucentis approval for retinal damage in diabetes

Roche now has another approval under its belt for eye drug Lucentis. And it's in a market it can call its own: Lucentis is the first U.S.-approved treatment for diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema.

Drugmakers fall in line with Pakistani government's price-cutting plans

SINGAPORE--Pakistan's pharmaceutical industry reportedly has decided to step aside and cease opposition to a government plan to force down the price of certain drugs marketed in the country as of July 1, 2016.

UPDATED: Novo Nordisk joins pharma's IPO clique with plans for tech subsidiary spinoff

Novo Nordisk has joined the spinoff club. The Danish drugmaker says it's ready to let its information technology unit, NNIT, go solo via an initial public offering.

Merck hands over China joint venture to partner Simcere Pharma

SINGPAPORE--Merck has confirmed it will move to let Simcere Pharmaceuticals run a high-profile China joint venture aimed at branded generic drugs announced in 2011 and focus instead on its mature products in the local market.

Glaxo layoffs continue as 27 Montana vaccine workers get the ax

GlaxoSmithKline's job-chopping ax has struck Hamilton, MT, where 27 vaccine researchers will pack up this year. The pharma giant plans to centralize its R&D efforts in one location, but where that will be hasn't yet been decided, company spokeswoman Melinda Stubbee told local paper Missoulian.

Hospira may be just the tip of the iceberg for deal-hungry Pfizer

Pfizer may have agreed on Thursday to pick up injectable drugmaker Hospira for $17 billion, but don't expect it to stop its dealmaking there, analysts say.

U.K. rails against Shire's tax tricks that suitors extol

Shire's Dublin, Ireland, address has made the specialty drugmaker a prime takeover target. Now Shire's own use of a tax haven has made it exhibit A in a dust-up over tax shelters being investigated in the U.K.

Arkansas settles claims it withheld Vertex's Kalydeco on price

Arkansas Medicaid officials have wrapped up a legal dispute over Vertex's cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco, settling to resolve claims the state denied patients the treatment based on its high price tag. And while it's good news for the drugmaker, this may be just the first in a series of cost-control battles to follow.

With Pfizer set to buy Hospira, what's in the future for CEO F. Michael Ball?

In four years as CEO of Hospira, F. Michael Ball has moved the company from its quality quagmire and a stock price collapse to an injectable drug leader and biosimilar player significant enough to be a prize worthy of a $15 billion buyout offer from Pfizer. People who make predictions about these kinds of things say Ball's rehab of Hospira would make him in big demand to run another company in need of a makeover.

Merck KGaA expands diabetes presence in Middle East with new education program

Setting up camp in the Middle East is the trend du jour in Big Pharma, and Merck KGaA is expanding its footprint there by launching its new diabetes education program in the United Arab Emirates.