Novo Nordisk bucks diabetes market pressures with 9% sales growth

U.S. payers have put the screws to diabetes drug prices. New launches have churned up stable drug classes. New outcomes data seem certain to shake things up, too. But diabetes-focused Novo Nordisk just keeps sailing along.

Q3 beats on sales, earnings ready Amgen for biosimilar attack

Amgen is steeling itself against biosimilar competition to some of its top meds, with a biosimilar of its best-selling cancer drug Neupogen hitting the market in September and threatening to take a bite out of sales. But the company hasn't hit the eye of the storm just yet, as older products delivered Street-beating sales in the third quarter and new drugs showed potential in helping Amgen shore up its defenses.

UPDATED: Shopping for a tax-friendly megamerger, Pfizer zeroes in on self-styled 'growth pharma' Allergan

Pfizer--searching for deals in advance of a potential split-up later this decade--has approached Allergan about an acquisition, Allergan said in a statement on Thursday. The drugmakers are in "preliminary friendly discussions," Allergan said, though they won't necessarily amount to a combination.

Pfizer gives up on a pair of Xeljanz indications--and it may dump psoriasis, too

Pfizer says it'll "reconsider" its investment in a psoriasis indication for Xeljanz, recently rejected by the FDA, after it meets with the agency.

GSK chief: We don't need a breakup or a Pfizer deal. Just look at ViiV's sales surge

GlaxoSmithKline surpassed Wall Street's earnings estimates in Q3, with lower spending in vaccines and consumer health largely driving the beat. But that's not to say it didn't turn in a couple of standout sales performances.

Express Scripts: AbbVie hep C meds still available for the right patients

A new FDA warning about AbbVie's hepatitis C cocktail hasn't affected patients' access to treatment, pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts said on Wednesday.

Senators want FTC probe to see if saline makers have profited unfairly from shortage

A two-year shortage of saline solutions has had the attention of hospitals that have had to sometimes ration a product they once took for granted. But it has now caught the attention of some U.S. senators who are asking the FTC to look into whether saline producers have using it to unreasonably jack up prices.

Valeant draws more fire for tapping insiders to investigate fraud allegations

Industry watchers have a couple of problems with the ad hoc committee Valeant assembled to investigate claims that it used relationships with specialty pharmacies to inflate its top line. For one, all four members are on the company's board. For two, they all have an equity stake in the drugmaker. And no one's is as sizable as committee chairman Mason Morfit's.

Gilead faces Q3 slowdown for hep C superstars

Gilead Sciences has been dealing with a slowdown for its hep C superstars Sovaldi and combo drug Harvoni, with prescriptions for the drugs petering off during the second quarter and analysts expecting things to continue in the same vein. As predicted the company's lagging momentum continued into Q3, with sales growth for its hep C treatments staying flat despite beats on earnings.

Sun Pharma pulls 1 million boxes of generic Claritin in further Ranbaxy cleanup

Ranbaxy's U.S. manufacturing operation, Ohm Laboratories, is recalling more than 1 million boxes of loratadine, its generic version of Bayer's allergy med Claritin.

Pfizer blows past sales forecasts, thanks to overachievers Prevnar, Ibrance

Last quarter, vaccine giant Prevnar 13 and breast-cancer newcomer Ibrance outperformed expectations, helping Pfizer trump analyst estimates. And in Q3, they delivered repeat performances.

Merck's Remicade bleeds market share to biosims, but Januvia holds its own

Along with its third-quarter financials, Merck & Co. delivered some more bad news about its Remicade brand: Discounted biosimilar versions are grabbing market share and eroding sales, and that trend isn't going to change.

Senator slaps Valeant for sparse response on pricing decisions

Earlier this month, Valeant responded to a letter from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), defending its price hikes on a pair of heart meds. But McCaskill says that response left much to be desired.

Bristol-Myers rides Opdivo, hep C sales to Q3 beat

Bristol-Myers Squibb expects big things from its immunotherapy powerhouse Opdivo, pushing for expanded indications for the med as it competes for a top spot in the field. Now the company is celebrating the fruits of its labor, beating third quarter estimates with strong sales of its PD-1 fighter--not to mention a standout performance from its hep C franchise.

Novartis shells out $390M to settle specialty pharmacy kickback claims

Novartis agreed to pay about $390 million to wrap up federal kickback claims before the $3.3 billion case went to trial. The Justice Department and a number of U.S. states had sought up to $3.4 billion in damages in the case, which zeroed in on the Swiss drugmaker's relationships with specialty pharmacies.

Perrigo CEO calls on his Israeli investors to block Mylan bid

Perrigo has railed repeatedly against Mylan's hostile takeover bid and introduced massive cost-cuts and streamlining efforts to try to keep its shareholders loyal. Its next step in fending off its unwanted suitor? Heading to Israel.

How much can J&J make of Yondelis' long-sought FDA approval?

After years of setbacks, Johnson & Johnson's Yondelis finally has its shot at some U.S. sales. The drug won its sought-after FDA approval Friday--not in ovarian cancer as previously hoped, but as a treatment for soft-tissue sarcoma, which otherwise has few treatment options. 

UPDATED: Merck discounts Remicade in U.K. as it tries to fend off biosimilars

Merck & Co. has seen its sales of the blockbuster Remicade beaten up in Europe as biosimilars makers have been much more aggressive about discounting their copies of the arthritis med than anyone expected. So the U.S. drugmaker is using a page from the competition's playbook and is cutting prices for the drug about 25% in the U.K.

Defensive Valeant sets up board committee to probe fraud allegations

On Monday, Valeant said it would set up an ad hoc committee--composed of its board members--to look into allegations that it used its relationship with specialty pharmacy Philidor to inflate its top line.

U.K.'s Big Kahuna investor spurs GlaxoSmithKline toward a Big Split

When high-profile U.K. fund manager Neil Woodford talks, investors listen. And now, Woodford is talking about a GlaxoSmithKline breakup.