NICE plots takeover of England's Cancer Drugs Fund

England's Cancer Drugs Fund has been dealing with budget overruns and backlash from drugmakers and patients unhappy with the fund's decision to ax certain meds from its list. Now, the country's cost watchdogs are planning to take the reins and give the fund a much-needed makeover.

Novo says new U.S. plant may be best bet to offset the FX bite

Novo Nordisk has forecast that currency hedging losses will leave it with an $850 million net loss for the year. But CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen thinks he may have landed on a new way to traverse that rough terrain: Build a plant in the U.S.

State-level price caps? Massachusetts drug-cost pushback breaks new ground

Massachusetts is joining the state-level push to tamp down drug prices. Lawmakers are proposing new disclosures about pharma's pricing decisions, just as they are in other states. But unlike California's move to limit price increases, for instance, Massachusetts could actually cap prices on specialty meds.

GSK says people and products were never in danger from Legionella bacteria in cooling towers

GlaxoSmithKline says that the people and products at its manufacturing site in Zebulon, NC, were never in peril from the bacteria for Legionnaires' disease detected this week in two cooling towers for the facility.

Proxy advisers back Mylan's Perrigo quest as investor vote looms

Mylan hopes its shareholders vote in favor of its hostile bid for Ireland's Perrigo. And it got a boost on Wednesday that may help convince them to do so at a shareholder meeting later this month.

Merck tallies 36,000 job cuts in 5 years of restructuring

The good news for Merck & Co.'s far-flung workforce: The job cuts hanging over your heads for the past five years are almost finished. The not-so-good news: Several thousand payroll reductions are yet to come.

Horizon bows to Depomed's demands with new bid--but adds demands of its own

Last month, Depomed criticized a sweetened, $33-per-share buyout offer from Horizon, claiming the all-stock proposal was "opportunistic" and took advantage of share-price fluctuations. So Horizon is doing something about it.

Journalist fights Amgen subpoena in Aranesp class action suit

It isn't too often that drugmakers and journalists go head-to-head in court. But as part of Amgen's latest legal battle, it's asking a federal judge to force a reporter to testify about an article he wrote that prompted a shareholder suit against the company and to spell out how he got information about an abandoned clinical trial.

How slow can Big Pharma go in emerging markets?

Industry watchers have pointed to a slowdown in pharma's emerging markets growth as a worrying sign for companies that have been heavily targeting developing nations while the U.S. and European markets stagnate. But just how slow has the growth become?

Patent challenger Bass shrugs off Celgene's attack on his short-selling motives

Money makes the world go round--the patent world, that is. That's the word from hedge funder Kyle Bass, who has been targeting drug patents he calls "low quality," and shorting pharma stocks along the way.

Marketers need a new data-fueled groove to really capitalize on latest meds

Makers of multiple myeloma drugs are vying for position in a space that's heating up, pointing to promising survival data to help their drugs gain ground. But if they tweaked their marketing strategies, they could have an easier time.

Roche scores Accutane victory with reversal of $25M verdict

Roche has been on a legal roller coaster with its acne drug Accutane. Facing thousands of claims that the drug triggers inflammatory bowel disease, the Swiss drugmaker is now enjoying a high point, as an appeals court reversed a $25 million verdict against the company.

Daiichi clot-buster wins a NICE green light, but still faces an uphill track

As the fourth market entrant in a hotly contested group of new-age anticoagulants, Daiichi Sankyo's Lixiana (edoxaban) has some ground to make up. Luckily, it got a boost in the U.K. that could help it build momentum.

UPDATED: GSK to reopen site after cooling towers where Legionella bacteria detected are disinfected

After detecting the bacteria for Legionnaires' disease in its cooling tower, GlaxoSmithKline temporarily closed a manufacturing plant in North Carolina on Tuesday and sent employees home while it investigates the impact, if any, on the medications manufactured there. The discovery comes as an outbreak of the infection has resulted in a dozen deaths in New York.

Perrigo makes last-minute investor pitch as Mylan lays out Plan B

There's just over two weeks left until Mylan's shareholders vote on its proposed hostile takeover of Perrigo, and the Irish target is using the time to meet with shareholders of both companies. Right now, its leaders feel "good about where they stand," according to Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal--but there are some question marks hanging over them, too.

Pfizer to cover NHS docs' script-switching costs in latest Lyrica-protecting move

Pfizer plans to pay doctors in England to prescribe its drug Lyrica. But don't jump to conclusions. These payments are in a category all their own.

CSL has 'money burning a hole in our pocket,' but it won't make premium deals

Australian vaccines maker CSL has plenty of wherewithal to make some deals, CEO Paul Perreault says, but he's wary of the prices paid by other drugmakers. Big Pharma's penchant for biotech deals has created "a bit of a bubble," in Perreault's view.

Advantage Brintellix? Lundbeck advances bid for cognitive label claim

Lundbeck has long touted the cognitive benefits of its depression med, Brintellix, rolling out data that shows the drug improves patients' thinking, decision-making and attention better than its competition. Now the company could be gaining more of an edge for its med, as the FDA accepted a supplemental new drug application to add information about Brintellix's effect on cognitive problems to its label.

CVS isn't stopping with PCSK9 discount demands. It wants concessions from ACC/AHA, too

CVS Health has no intention of shelling out more than it has to on the new PCSK9 drugs. It's been saying so for more than a year--and now, it has taken a double-barreled shot at the next-gen cholesterol fighters.

Don't fall for Shire's 'lowball' bid, Baxalta CEO urges. Be true to our solo prospects instead

Last week, Baxalta rejected a $30 billion buyout bid from Shire, pointing to its youth, its standalone prospects and a portfolio that just wouldn't jibe with the Irish pharma's. On Monday, its CEO hammered those points home once again for investors--and stressed that Shire's proposal, as it stands, is "wholly inadequate."