UPDATED: AbbVie scores FDA approval for expanded Humira label

AbbVie wants to get the most that it can out of blockbuster Humira before biosimilars in the U.S. and Europe come knocking. Part of that plan involves expanding the drug's label, and the Illinois pharma recently notched a win as the FDA approved Humira to treat a rare inflammatory skin disease.

AstraZeneca picks up discarded Amgen plant as part of its biologics expansion

U.K.-based AstraZeneca is buying and intends to eventually employ 400 at a Colorado biologics plant that Amgen closed last year as part of its massive two-stage move to lay off 4,000 people.

Horizon steps up its official Depomed pursuit with campaign website

Horizon Pharma has officially begun mailing solicitation materials to shareholders of unwilling M&A target Depomed, including a letter related to its efforts to call the two special meetings it'll need if it wants to seal its deal.

Just wait, Perrigo investor urges. We can get the same return--without a Mylan deal

All eyes are on Perrigo's investors, who will have to decide whether to accept Mylan's offer when the wannabe acquirer takes it to them next Monday. And Israeli businessman Mori Arkin, for one, plans to deliver a resounding "no."

U.K. judge backs Lyrica generic, scolds Pfizer for 'groundless' threats to docs

Pfizer has not only lost a key patent fight over Lyrica in Britain. It's now under fire for threatening legal action against doctors and pharmacies to enforce that very patent.

Back-to-school MenB shots are de rigueur at some colleges, but others won't stock them

The Centers for Disease Control immunization committee stopped short of advising routine vaccination against meningitis B, instead leaving the decision up to doctors and families. And now, U.S. universities are tackling MenB vaccination in a multitude of ways.

UPDATED: Bernie Sanders unveils bill to battle rising drug prices

Sen. Bernie Sanders and his cohort, Rep. Elijah Cummings, are rolling out their drug pricing bill at a press conference Thursday morning. The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 includes some tactics that have fallen flat in Congress before--government power to directly negotiate drug prices, for instance. Its newer ideas include full disclosure--of R&D and manufacturing costs, profits and pricing in other countries, among other numbers.

Study: Patients sticking to their scripts saved Medicaid money

Getting patients to stick to their meds is a common refrain in pharma, as companies chase stellar sales and potential savings. But drug adherence could also play a role in the Medicaid realm, as new research shows that patients in the program taking their prescription drugs resulted in cost savings.

Allergan sews up a Namenda XR cushion with Amneal patent settlement

After scrambling to convert Namenda patients over to a newer, longer-lasting version of the med, Allergan certainly doesn't want generic competition to the updated version. And for now, it's dodged a bullet, by striking an accord with Amneal to keep its copy off the market for more than four years.

Icahn casts his eye on Vivus with tender offer for convertible notes

Activist investor Carl Icahn is jumping into the biopharma fray once again, this time getting involved with struggling obesity drugmaker Vivus.

Cost watchdog says PCSK9 meds should cost 85% less. Realistic or not?

Payers ready to balk at the cost of new cholesterol-fighting PCSK9 drugs could have some new backing. A not-for-profit drug pricing watchdog, which analyzed data on the drugs, says they should cost only about one-third of their list price at most--and even less to avoid an undue burden on the healthcare system.

GlaxoSmithKline's hopes flag as Breo flunks COPD outcomes study

GlaxoSmithKline's respiratory business, struggling in the face of Advair price cuts, could use the few billion dollars analysts predicted it could generate if newcomer Breo aced an outcomes study. But no dice, the company reported Tuesday.

Ireland plant with 100 workers on Sun's list for sale or closure

In a new wrinkle in Sun Pharmaceutical's plans for merging Ranbaxy Laboratories, the Indian company is putting together a list of plants that it will sell or close and among them is a facility in Tipperary, Ireland.

Roche CEO: Despite China worries, emerging markets will continue to deliver growth

Roche CEO Severin Schwan isn't worried about the company's progress in emerging markets. While the helmsman acknowledged a slowdown in China and currency issues in Brazil, the company is still on track to post growth in the long term, Schwan said in an interview with Bloomberg.

UPDATED: Second drugmaker sues FDA over drug marketing, cites Amarin's 'free speech' win

It looks like the federal court ruling last month that Amarin had the "free speech" right to promote its fish oil product Vascepa for off-label use will become nettlesome to the FDA. A second drugmaker, Pacira, has now filed suit looking for a court to grant it similar permission on the way it markets its pain drug Exparel.

Novartis CEO: Payers not sold on performance pricing yet, but that'll change

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez sees a couple of rays of hope for drug spending--and for the viability of higher-priced meds. Big Data, for one. And performance-based pricing for another.

Already riding naloxone boom, Amphastar plots nasal spray to rival old formulas

A surge of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. has created an opportunity for pharma companies that make the overdose antidote naloxone.

Deal stalker Concordia snaps up Amdipharm in 'pivotal turning point' for M&A strategy

A Canadian drugmaker with quite the track record for buyouts has struck a far-reaching deal that it says will enhance its M&A strategy. No, it's not serial dealmaker Valeant--but it may have Valeant worried.

Roche CEO lashes out at U.K.'s 'stupid' move to stop paying for a dozen-plus cancer meds

The U.K.'s special cancer drugs fund gave the heave-ho to a slate of treatments, including Roche's cutting-edge breast cancer treatment Kadcyla and Celgene's Abraxane for pancreatic cancer. Drugmakers are hopping mad, cancer treatment charities are despairing--and the fund and some public officials are on the defensive.

Perrigo's fate is in shareholders' hands, Mylan chairman says. Or is it?

With the go-ahead from its own shareholders, Mylan is now pushing full steam ahead to acquire Perrigo--and as Chairman Robert Coury wrote in a Tuesday letter to its Irish target's CEO, "you and your board are now unable to stop the combination."