News

Hospira chief gets a $1.1M raise amid manufacturing revamp

Hospira CEO F. Michael Ball last year came out $1.1 million ahead, with $9.89 million in total compensation, compared with $8.78 million in 2012.

Suffering Eli Lilly freezes salaries, cuts bonuses across the board

Eli Lilly has once again put its payroll in the deep freeze. The U.S.-based drugmaker says most employees won't see salary increases this year because of patent-cliff losses. And Lilly is cutting cash bonuses, too.

Even at a discount, Sanofi's pricey cancer drug Zaltrap can't win at NICE

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has spurned Sanofi's colon cancer treatment Zaltrap once again. And this time, the decision is final. The cost-effectiveness agency dismissed the French company's appeal, despite the offer of a discount.

UPDATED: AbbVie CEO's pay doubles to $18.2M in Abbott pharma spinoff's first solo year

AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez has been on the job for just over a year, and already his pay has more than doubled. As chief of the newly minted pharma company, spun off from Abbott Laboratories last January 1, Gonzalez racked up $18.2 million in 2013 compensation, including $3.3 million in incentive pay.

Sanofi reportedly jumps into $12B race for Merck's consumer unit

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher may be reconsidering his November plans to spend just €1 billion to €2 billion per year on acquisitions. Rumor has it the drug giant is eyeing a bid for Merck's OTC unit, which could sell for up to $12 billion.

The 10 best-selling drugs of 2013

It is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.

UPDATED: J&J releases more Doxil, its popular cancer med that has been dogged by supply issues

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, which has struggled to maintain ready supplies of its ovarian cancer treatment Doxil, has released a new lot of the popular drug. The injectable cancer med was produced through an "alternative manufacturing approach" in which the now-closed Ben Venue plant in Ohio made the bulk product and another manufacturer finished it off.

Soriot notches a bigger bonus, but total $5.5M in pay is no record breaker

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot scored a big increase in bonus for 2013, but his total not only falls short of last year's, but pales by comparison with the biggest in Big Pharma. And his predecessor David Brennan's pay beats the total, too.

Toothpaste factory line or F1 racetrack? McLaren revs up Glaxo's production

How do you halve the time it takes for GlaxoSmithKline toothpaste makers to change over their lines? Reenvision the production line as an F1 racetrack, according to McLaren.

Celgene thinks its Otezla pill will be easy for the market to swallow

With its FDA approval for psoriatic arthritis, Celgene's Otezla (apremilast) comes into a market dominated by some of the best-selling drugs in the world, including AbbVie's top seller Humira and Enbrel from Amgen and Pfizer. But instead of an injection, Celgene's drug is a pill, an advantage the company thinks will help it eventually reach up to $2 billion in sales--a figure analysts feel less certain about.

Politicians add fuel to the firestorm over Gilead's hep C drug pricing

Rep. Henry Waxman and several Democratic colleagues in Congress wrote Gilead CEO John Martin an excoriating letter on Friday, demanding to know why Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C wonder drug Sovaldi costs $84,000--and whether Gilead is doing anything to make sure that poor patients get access to it.

Cost watchdogs demand efficacy data on new Bayer cancer drugs

German pharma giant Bayer got back-to-back bad news on two of its newest drugs, from two different countries, no less.

The color purple knocks back Novartis' Advair rival in Germany

GlaxoSmithKline's asthma behemoth Advair may be losing ground in Europe, but a legal win may stop some of the bleeding--at least in Germany. The British pharma giant has obtained a preliminary injunction there to stop Novartis' Sandoz from hawking its generic, AirFluSal Forspiro, thanks to the inhaler's purple color.

J&J, Medivir get EU nod for their hep C drug Olysio

The horse race for oral treatments of chronic hepatitis C entered another turn today as the European Union recommended approval of Olysio, the Johnson & Johnson and Medivir entry in the high-stakes derby, Bloomberg reports.

Novartis' vaccine unit gets a badly needed booster from the U.K.

The U.K.'s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) is revising its stance on Novartis' meningitis B vaccine Bexsero. The jab, originally left off Britain's routine vaccination schedule, has gained the JCVI's nod, supplying a needed boost for the Swiss company's flailing vaccine unit.

J&J's Velcade cleared by U.K. for first-line myeloma treatment in about-face

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has come around on Johnson & Johnson's Velcade as a first-line treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma. It approved the drug for the new use today, four months after initially saying it was unconvinced the benefits of the drug outweighed its costs.

Wockhardt plants cited by Indian regulators

In a move that seems to heed FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg's call to expect higher standards from their drugmakers, state drug regulators in India have taken action against two Wockhardt plants that the U.S. FDA banned months ago.

Novo CEO sees improved picture for Tresiba in U.S. market

Last year's FDA delay on Novo Nordisk's Tresiba was a major setback for the long-acting insulin that analysts said would severely dampen its earnings potential. But in the ever-changing pharma landscape, a new development has Novo CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen thinking the company may still get Tresiba to the U.S. market ahead of any significant competition.

Arkansas court boots $1.2B J&J verdict on technical grounds

In defending the largest state-level decision ever won against Johnson & Johnson for its Risperdal marketing, the state of Arkansas said the New-Jersey based company didn't properly communicate the antipsychotic's risks and marketed it for off-label use. In its appeal, J&J said it didn't commit fraud or harm the state's Medicaid program. But Arkansas' Supreme Court had something entirely different to say when it overturned the $1.2 billion judgment Thursday.

Merck to have Cipla make cut-rate version of an HIV drug

India's Cipla has been aggressive about taking aim at Western meds it thinks are too expensive for the Indian market, sometimes targeting those that have seen their patents pushed aside by compulsory licenses. But drugmaker Merck has a new deal with Cipla that might help it sidestep that issue.