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GSK chief Witty opens up to spinoff talk, with consumer health an obvious choice

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty may be coming around on a breakup. At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Witty said he's open to the idea and pegged his consumer health joint venture with Novartis as a possible option.

New Bayer site to make traditional Chinese and Western consumer health meds

Bayer snapped up China's Dihon in 2014 with the idea of combining Dihon's traditional Chinese medicines with Bayer's Western OTC products in a major consumer health play in the country. Now it has a large new plant there to produce both kinds of products.

#JPM16 Roundup: What you need to know on Pfizer, Sanofi and more

SAN FRANCISCO--On Monday, we brought you the lowdown from the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, with company presentations from pharma giants including Novartis and Merck & Co. Today, we're back with our latest roundup, big names and not-so-big.

Pfizer CEO: Allergan deal is 'a lot more about growth' than job cuts

Anyone who's examined Pfizer's job-chopping track record knows the company has a tendency to wield the ax in the wake of a megamerger. But this time? Things will be different, CEO Ian Read said of Pfizer's Allergan tie-up on Tuesday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Shire CEO thinks he can beat $500M in postmerger cost savings

Shire may have clinched its $32 billion deal to buy Baxalta, but not everyone is breaking out the confetti. Some analysts aren't sold on the tie-up, saying they expected more in the way of savings and still are perplexed by what Baxalta brings to the table.

Depomed isn't anti-takeover, CEO says. It was just anti-Horizon

SAN FRANCISCO--Let Depomed be clear: it may not have been too keen on Horizon Pharma's buyout offer from last year, but that doesn't mean it's opposed to a takeover.

Pharma scandals spawn investor lawsuits at KaloBios, Sequoia

Angry investors of KaloBios and Sequoia Fund are taking their pharma grievances to the courts.

What public outcry? New year brings dozens of double-digit drug price hikes

All eyes may be on rising drug costs, but that doesn't mean pharma companies are backing away from price hikes. In recent days, analysts have spotlighted hundreds of increases, more than 100 of them at Pfizer alone, that took effect January 1.

Want the skinny from the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference? We've got you covered

SAN FRANCISCO--Sometimes, it can tough to be filter out what a company means from the little it says at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. So please, allow us to do the summarizing--and check back throughout the week for updates.

Celgene ends horse race for Hugin's successor, tapping Mark Alles as new CEO

Celgene's Mark Alles will join biopharma's slate of new CEOs in March as part of a management reshuffling at the $9 billion-plus biotech. Current chief Bob Hugin, who has led Celgene through a major expansion over the past 5 years, will move upstairs to the executive chairman's office.

Now focused on integrating Allergan generics, Teva eyes 'much larger' specialty buy in 2017

SAN FRANCISCO--After watching months of pharma's M&A wave from the sidelines, Teva finally made a splash this summer with an agreement to pick up Allergan's generics business. And it may not be finished in the dealmaking arena.

UPDATED: Congressional reps urge the NIH to 'march in' on rising drug prices

Up in arms about rising drug prices, a cadre of lawmakers have called for Congressional action. But the lawmaking process won't happen quickly enough for some of them. They're urging officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to take some "extraordinary" action.

Time for J&J to pay up in $124M Risperdal case as SCOTUS deflects final appeal

Johnson & Johnson fell short Monday in its final effort to escape a Risperdal marketing penalty in South Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up J&J's last appeal in the case, putting the company on the hook for a $124 million penalty.

Vertex's 2016 outlook falls short amid mixed results from high-profile CF meds

SAN FRANCISCO--Cystic fibrosis specialist Vertex announced 2015 Kalydeco sales that topped analyst expectations, in advance of a presentation at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. But that's where the beat ended.

UPDATED: Perrigo recalls store brands of popular Zyrtec, Mucinex meds it makes for CVS, Kroger and others

Perrigo is having to strip from retailers' shelves hundreds of thousands of packages of its copy of number-one allergy pill Zyrtec that are sold through CVS, Kmart, Kroger, and other retailers large and small. Perrigo initiated the recall of the antihistamine in late September after it found that the products potentially contained an impurity.

Novartis kicks it into high gear to revive flailing Alcon unit

Novartis' Alcon business has been struggling for some time now, and the company's efforts to help its eye-care business get back on track don't seem to be doing much to stanch the bleeding. So Novartis is kicking things into crisis mode, planning to launch a game plan this year to revive its flailing unit.

Single-minded Shire finally pins down Baxalta with $32B deal

The new year has its first megadeal agreement, thanks to Shire and Baxalta. On Monday, the two finally announced a $32 billion tie-up after a months-long pursuit by the Dublin drugmaker.

Interim Valeant CEO Schiller expects to stick to the script--and that means being 'boring' in 2016

When Valeant installed former CFO Howard Schiller as interim CEO earlier this week, it said the board would continue to work closely with Schiller to implement company strategy in the absence of hospitalized chief J. Michael Pearson. But Schiller also has the authority to make big decisions on his own, should the need arise.

GSK whistleblower claims to have been fired after emailing CEO about Nicoderm concerns

GlaxoSmithKline's Nicoderm products are among the leaders in helping smokers kick their habits. But a former employee says the study that showed their edge over competitors was flawed and that he got the boot for pointing it out to his bosses and giving a heads-up by email to CEO Andrew Witty.

U.K. investor Woodford calls again for breakup of 'complicated' GSK

In October, high-profile U.K. fund manager Neil Woodford advocated for a four-way breakup of GlaxoSmithKline, a company he said could unlock "significant shareholder value" by splitting apart. And he hasn't quit championing that idea.