Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers--at one time a wannabe professional tennis player--knows what it is to push it to the limit. But he also knows that too much pushing can take its toll.
Drugmakers would like the political backlash against price increases to go away. Instead, it just keeps growing. Following up on price-squashing proposals from presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, a group of House Democrats say they're poised to unveil their own plan.
Last week, when Valeant cut ties with specialty pharmacy Philidor, it said it would make sure patients' access to drugs saw as little disruption as possible. And now, it's rolling out its plan to achieve that.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) often has a bone to pick with Big Pharma, especially when it comes to the industry's patents on expensive life-extending meds. As part of its latest tirade, the group is urging the South African government to override a patent for AbbVie's HIV drug, Aluvia, after shortages of the med cropped up in the country.
Pfizer admits it's wooing Allergan for a merger worth more than $100 billion. But what it's not saying publicly is that GlaxoSmithKline has rejected its advances. That's the word from the Financial Times, whose sources say Pfizer had been flirting with a GSK buy, but the U.K.-based drugmaker wasn't impressed. Pfizer duly backed away.
Valeant may be through with specialty pharmacy Philidor, which CVS ;and Express Scripts dropped from their networks last week on questions about its business practices. But other companies still maintain relationships with specialty pharmacies, and Express Scripts now says it's reviewing those, too.
The deal of the year could be arranged by Thanksgiving, or so goes the story. Despite opposition from politicians, despite the tricky nature of pulling off a tax inversion that size, Pfizer and Allergan may well be engaged before the month is out, giving Pfizer its long-sought tax reduction and its answer to the who-will-you-buy question that's popped up on every earnings call since AstraZeneca's final rejection last year.
The FDA and European regulators, which have long had concerns about the quality of drugs being manufactured by Chinese companies, are now finding issues at some Chinese plants owned by Big Pharma. The FDA has cited a Pfizer plant in China, while U.K. regulators recently found shortcomings at a GlaxoSmithKline plant there.
Last week, Sanofi pulled the main competitor to Mylan's Epipen--Auvi-Q--from the market on concerns that the pens might be delivering inaccurate doses.
Want to dodge some competition for your fast-growing products? Buy it up. That's the tack Shire took Monday, agreeing to shell out $5.9 billion for Massachusetts-based Dyax. The company boasts on-the-market Kalbitor, an acute treatment for hereditary angioedema (HAE), as well as the Phase III-ready candidate DX-2930, which bears the FDA's fast track and breakthrough tags, as well as orphan drug designations in both the U.S. and EU.
Back in September, researchers cautioned against overhyped language in FDA press releases about new meds, saying that using the terms "breakthrough" and "promising" in statements could sway individuals' expectations about a drug. Now scientists are adding more words to the wise, showing that news stories often use rosy descriptors that aren't necessarily warranted.
Valeant is severing all ties with specialty pharmacy Philidor--which a short seller recently claimed it used to inflate its top line--after reports that Philidor altered doctors' orders to squeeze more reimbursement dollars out of insurers. Philidor has also informed Valeant that it plans to shut down its operations as soon as possible, the company said.
Pfizer and Allergan--which both confirmed on Thursday that they're in "friendly" deal talks--may be intrigued with the prospect of a tie-up. But politicians gung-ho about stopping tax inversions? Not so much.
Humira continued to bring in more than half of AbbVie's revenues, exceeding analysts' expectations and propelling the drugmaker to an earnings beat. But one of the company's hopefuls, hep C med Viekira Pak, missed in Q3, potentially throwing a wrench into AbbVie's plans to reap more from new meds.
Chalk up a win for pharma patent challenger Kyle Bass. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to institute trials for 6 of the drug patents he's challenged--and IP shields for Celgene's Revlimid and Shire's Gattex are among them.
Mylan has swept aside one of the legal hurdles set up by Perrigo, which has been fighting on two continents to try to derail Mylan's takeover of the generics competitor.
Allergan has been trying for months to resolve bribery allegations that came with its $8.5 billion buyout of Warner Chilcott and now will do that with a plea deal and a $125 million payment. For former Warner Chilcott president W. Carl Reichel, the matter is more complicated. He was arrested and had to appear in federal court in Boston for leading the alleged scheme.
Gilead Sciences, already reaping billions from its duo of approved hepatitis C therapies, has submitted a third pill to the FDA. The combination therapy, which has the agency's breakthrough designation, promises to cure a wider range of patients with the virus.
A couple of years ago, Sanofi released an epinephrine injection device that gives audio and visual cues for caregivers, hoping the high-tech pen could grab some of the sales from Mylan, whose EpiPen product ruled the market. But Sanofi stumbled seriously on Wednesday when it issued a recall of all of its devices because they may be giving the wrong dose.
Sanofi racked up big third-quarter gains in emerging markets, its Genzyme unit sales were up almost one-third, and vaccines and animal health delivered growth, too. Overall sales increased by 3.4% to €9.6 billion, lower than analysts expected, but only slightly. And earnings topped estimates by a couple cents per share. But what got most of the attention in the French drugmaker's Q3 release? Its falling diabetes sales--and its expectation that they'll continue on that downward trajectory.