News

Study: Med students cozy with pharma reps more likely to dole out branded drugs

Doctors aren't the only ones to fall prey to free lunches and fuzzy promotional talks. Medical students who spend more time with& pharma reps are more likely to dole out brand-name products, and less likely to rely on evidence when choosing which drugs to use, Medscape reports.

Zogenix puts Zohydro 2.0 into high gear, aiming to beat Purdue, Teva

Zogenix knows it needs to step on the gas. If the company doesn't develop an abuse-resistant version of its controversial-and-powerful painkiller Zohydro--and quickly--another drugmaker will speed past.

Rottapharm founders price IPO valuing company at up to $2.46 billion

Two years ago, Rottapharm's founding family gave up on selling a big stake in the company. Word was, the offers didn't quite measure up to the asking price--and the Rovati family wanted to keep more power than buyers were willing to give. Now, the Italian drugmaker is planning an IPO that would value the company at €1.45 billion to €1.8 billion, or up to $2.46 billion.

Bayer likes all the brands it got from Merck, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's included

Should Bayer sell some of the consumer brands it's buying from Merck in a $14 billion deal? Analysts say a few of them--Coppertone sun products, for instance--don't quite fit with Bayer's product lineup. Buyers appear to be knocking. But Bayer says it will keep those brands, thank you very much.

Not for sale, says new Actavis CEO. We're buying instead

After serving as Bausch & Lomb's chief exec for just 5 months, incoming Actavis CEO Brent Saunders wants to keep his new job for awhile. So forget selling the company, fast-growing and attractive as it may be, Saunders is more interested in buying.

Takeda COO Weber's reset plans include acquisitions, market expansion

Takeda's board swept aside concerns over having the company run by a non-Japanese executive, setting up Frenchman Christophe Weber to carry out the plans he believes are needed to turn around the faltering drugmaker.

France aims to save big bucks by subbing unapproved Avastin for eye drug Lucentis

In June, the Italian government said it would pay for Roche's cancer drug Avastin to be used to treat a blinding eye disease, in place of the company's far more expensive eye drug Lucentis. Now, France is following Italy's lead.

Amgen scores FDA's 'breakthrough' nod for prospective leukemia therapy

Amgen nabbed a breakthrough designation for its mid-stage blood cancer drug blinatumomab.

Apparently confident AstraZeneca CEO socks $3.4M into company shares

Pascal Soriot has raised the stakes on AstraZeneca's turnaround. The chief executive plunked down $3.4 million to buy more of his company's shares. 

Allergan trots out buybacks, deals and cuts in new offensive against Valeant buy

Allergan CEO David Pyott last week said his goal was to give shareholders "most of what they want" to keep them on his side of a takeover battle with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Now, Allergan is trying to do just that, weighing a share buyback as part of a larger plan to dodge the Canadian pharma's hostile advances.

New highest-paid CEO: United Therapeutics chief collected $38M in 2013

A few weeks ago, we published our annual list of highest-paid biopharma CEOs. Now, we're saying whoops! Sitting at the top of our list was Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer with $36.27 million in 2013 compensation. But United Therapeutics chief Martine Rothblatt should have had that spot.

Novartis Japan unit faces another criminal charge in data-manipulation scandal

Last month, Japanese authorities arrested an ex-Novartis employee who allegedly manipulated trial data later used to promote the blockbuster blood pressure med Diovan. But now, it looks as if he may not be the only one paying the price.

Roche to Cochrane: Critical Tamiflu study made 'fundamental mistakes'

Back in April, a study conducted by the nonprofit Cochrane Group suggested that the $2 billion worth of Roche's Tamiflu and other flu fighters stockpiled by the U.S. and the U.K. has essentially amounted to money thrown down the drain. Now Roche is fighting back, claiming the Cochrane researchers failed to include all the relevant data and furthermore didn't seem to understand how Tamiflu works.

India's suffering generics industry hires DC consultant to burnish its image

Indian generics makers have turned to a Washington, DC, consulting firm run by Ron Somers to counter its tarnished image as bad press from plant bans has put its standards into question.

Wanted: Marketing strategy for MannKind's long-time-coming inhaled insulin

MannKind's third-time's-the-charm win on its inhaled insulin Afrezza isn't the finish line for the long-suffering company.

Novartis pulls EMA app for new Tasigna use, but wins new NICE nod for Gleevec

As blood cancer wonder-drug Gleevec ages, Novartis is trying to build out indications for follow-up Tasigna. After an up-and-down week for the pair, the Swiss pharma is now short a potential Tasigna label expansion, thanks to a snag in Europe. But a change of heart for the U.K.'s cost watchdog on Gleevec may give the franchise a boost.

Allergan's poison pill can't stop Valeant from calling shareholders to a vote

Valeant has cleared another hurdle in its quest to buy Allergan. The key next step: a special shareholders meeting, where Valeant will try to shake up the company's board and overturn its acquisition defenses to get a $53 billion deal done.

Sex, bribes and videotape: Clandestine video of GSK exec adds to China scandal

Last year, as the GlaxoSmithKline bribery probe was heating up, a British P.I. and his wife appeared on Chinese television, wearing handcuffs and prison orange. Word was, their sleuthing firm, ChinaWhys, had been working for pharma companies. Their alleged crime: collecting private information on Chinese citizens.

Shire CEO's buyout plans thwarted when AbbVie came calling

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov is none too happy about AbbVie's repeated attempts to buy his company for $46 billion. Shire has snubbed AbbVie's advances three times since April, and under U.K. takeover rules, the Chicago company has until July 18 to make another bid or leave the Irish company alone. Problem is, AbbVie's ongoing pursuit is preventing Shire from making acquisitions of its own--a goal the company had been pursuing aggressively.

With Shire takeover bid, AbbVie looks to succeed where Pfizer failed

AbbVie may be working with some of the same advisers who worked on Pfizer's so-far-failed play for AstraZeneca. But after three rejections from target Shire--the latest totaling about $46.5 billion--it's not about to make Pfizer's same mistakes.