News

What's in a name? For newly transformed Allergan, branded sales

Bye-bye, Actavis. The drugmaker has officially adopted its recent buyout's moniker, meaning it'll be known as Allergan from here on out.

MSF wants Indian PM to stand up to Big Pharma peer pressure

Western drugmakers have long struggled with India's populist attitude toward patents, but hoped there would be some light at the end of the tunnel with the latest spate of trade negotiations over generic drugs in the country. But Doctors Without Borders is none too pleased with the proposed trade changes and is urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to adopt a similar attitude and stand up to international pressure.

Biotech payrolls boom along with sales, while Big Pharma jobs keep disappearing

Biotech is booming, there's no escaping that fact. And once again, an employment report shows that the biotech boom extends to job growth that beats pharma. Once again, biotech payrolls are burgeoning as pharma's falter.

FDA taps PatientsLikeMe to harness patient info for drug-safety monitoring

PatientsLikeMe has been on a roll as of late, inking deals with biopharma giants such as AstraZeneca, Genentech and Biogen to provide its patient-reported data for the companies' R&D initiatives. Now the company is shifting gears, planning to work with the FDA to see how its patient reports could improve drug safety.

Consumer group demands FDA correct 'compounded mistake' on Vanda's Hetlioz label

The FDA has already admitted that it made a mistake with its initial approval letter for Vanda Pharmaceuticals' sleep disorder drug early last year, a consumer advocacy group says. And now, that group is demanding the agency do a better job fixing it.

Are CV studies worth it for diabetes meds? After Merck and Sanofi's recent successes, some say no

Some industry watchers are wondering whether those large, expensive trials--which aren't long enough to establish long-term outcomes--were worth it.

GSK deal keeps paying off for Novartis with more positive Arzerra data

Earlier this year, Novartis became the owner of a number of new oncology assets thanks to its multibillion-dollar asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline. And Friday, it released some positive new survival data for leukemia drug Arzerra that adds to the evidence that the trade was a good one for the Swiss drugmaker.

Pfizer's Pristiq antidepressant comes up short for kids

When the FDA approved Wyeth's antidepressant Pristiq in 2008, the nod came with a number of provisions to do postmarketing studies, including one in pediatric patients. Seven years later, Pfizer, which bought Wyeth in a 2009 megamerger, has fulfilled that obligation to disappointing results. The drug failed to hit its endpoint.

Prisoners accuse Massachusetts of barring them from pricey hep C meds

New hep C meds have drawn their fair share of criticism, with lawmakers, patients and payers claiming that the drugs' hefty price tags unfairly restrict their use to the sickest patients. Now, more voices are joining the swelling chorus of discontent as two inmates are suing the Massachusetts state prison system for not providing the drugs to prisoners.

Pfizer in quick succession turns aside second lawsuit alleging Zoloft birth defects ties

Just weeks after winning the first case to go to trial that accused Pfizer of hiding birth defect risks for the children of women who took the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy, the pharma giant has again convinced a jury that there was no credible connection. The results are positive for Pfizer, but the company still faces more than 1,000 lawsuits alleging similar claims.

Second investigator linked to GSK bribery scandal released from Chinese prison

Earlier this week, Chinese authorities released Peter Humphrey--a private eye linked to GlaxoSmithKline's 2013 bribery scandal--from local prison after a court reduced his sentence by about 7 months. And now, The Wall Street Journal reports that they've released his wife and partner Yu Yingzeng, too, cutting short her sentence by one month. 

Big Data study flags 'fairly compelling' link between stomach blockbusters and heart risks

Proton pump inhibitors, including AstraZeneca's longtime blockbuster Nexium, are some of the most commonly used drugs in the world to treat heartburn. But they may also be increasing the risk of heart attack, a new study shows.

After stalling for months, NHS England pledges £190M for new hep C treatments

Gilead Sciences and AbbVie are quick to tout the efficacy of their hep C meds. Now, those numbers have helped the drugmakers score a win in the U.K. as the country's National Health Service (NHS) will spend £190 million ($294 million) for new treatments for the disease, including AbbVie's interferon-free treatment and Gilead's blockbuster hep C therapies.

UPDATED: Blockbuster-to-be cancer meds outclass other big launches--except Sovaldi and statins

No question, immuno-oncology drugs are the hottest tickets in cancer--and among the hottest across the board. But PD-1/PD-L1 treatments, including Merck & Co.'s Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo, aren't the first to bear big sales expectations. How do immuno-oncology forecasts stack up against other notable drug launches?

Teva amps up Mylan stake again, winning agenda rights for upcoming annual meeting

In their last letter to Mylan Chairman Robert Coury, Teva's leaders made it explicitly clear: They're proceeding down their takeover path whether Mylan likes it or not. And they took another step forward this week, further hiking Teva's stake in their target.

Want to take on Gilead in hep C, Merck? Try niche marketing, game theory expert says

In game theory, the so-called Judo strategy involves using the size and strength of opponents against them. And that's exactly what Yale Professor Barry Nalebuff thinks Merck should employ when it rolls out its next-gen hepatitis C regimen, setting up a battle with Gilead and AbbVie.

Leaked TPP document shows pharma still angling for pricing influence

The Obama administration is backing off of drug-price protections in the big Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty now under negotiation, The New York Times reports. But U.S. negotiators are still pressing for more power to get involved in government decisions on reimbursement rates.

Bayer inks long-awaited deal to shed its diabetes biz

Industry watchers are keeping a close eye on Bayer's big divestment plans, which involve jettisoning its plastics unit before mid-2016. But meanwhile, it's getting a jump on the slim-down process with the sale of its diabetes care business.

Novartis closes in on lucrative new Cosentyx use with ankylosing spondylitis results

Novartis has the first next-gen psoriasis med on the market in Cosentyx, and it's been spending money to take that first-to-market advantage as far as it can. But the Swiss drugmaker wants the treatment to be first in other indications, too. On that front, it got a boost on Wednesday with some new results in ankylosing spondylitis.

Inflectra vs. Remicade study could be just what the doctor ordered for biosimilars

A study released today that pitted Hospira's biosimilar Inflectra against its reference drug Remicade in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is good news for Hospira, and by default Pfizer. It found that patients who were switched to the copy did just as well, with no unexpected side effects, as they had on Merck and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade.