News

Roche nabs European approval for time-saving formulation of Rituxan

Pharma companies sometimes try to extend the lives of drugs by developing new formulations or follow-on products before their patent expires. Swiss pharma giant Roche scored a victory today when European regulators approved a subcutaneous version of its cancer drug Rituxan, known as MabThera overseas.

GlaxoSmithKline pulls all U.S. alli supplies, launches product-tampering probe

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling supplies of its OTC weight-loss drug alli in light of reports from U.S. consumers who found the wrong drug when they opened their bottles.

GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes contender albiglutide nabs EU approval

European officials gave a green light to GlaxoSmithKline's once-weekly diabetes drug Eperzan (albiglutide). The GLP-1 drug is awaiting FDA approval, with a decision expected next month.

New NICE evals could green-light more drugs, but only at 'the very best price'

The U.K.'s cost watchdog is changing up the way it evaluates drugs. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will be zooming out to look at the bigger picture when assessing therapies, which could result in more positive recommendations--something drugmakers have been dreaming of for years.

Merck, GlaxoSmithKline halt copay help for Obamacare patients

Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have nixed their copay assistance for Obamacare patients. The two companies say they fear subsidizing patients' drug purchases will run afoul of federal anti-kickbacks law. But many other top drugmakers- including Novartis, Sanofi and Eli Lilly--will keep their copay cards and discounts, at least for now.

Drugmakers agree to new FDA rules restricting antibiotic use in livestock

In December, the FDA asked animal health companies to voluntarily stop using antibiotics to promote growth of meatier cows, pigs, and other livestock. Now, the agency says 25 companies have signed on to its new guidelines, including Eli Lilly's Elanco, Novartis' animal health unit, and Zoetis.

Baxter to spin off its $6B biopharma business in industry's latest split-up

The pharma split-up movement is spreading. Baxter International says it will spin off its biopharma business into a separate company, leaving its $9 billion medical products business to venture on under the Baxter name.

Are pricey cancer drugs worth the cost? ASCO means to find out

Public debate over high drug prices is one thing. But pushback from doctors is something else altogether. And when those doctors happen to be in charge at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, drugmakers might want to start worrying.

Astellas enlists a wide-eyed animated bladder for Myrbetriq ad campaign

We're accustomed to animated characters in our drug advertising. But a perky ... bladder?

Florida man threatened to poison J&J products unless it forked over cash

GlaxoSmithKline announced today that bottles of its alli over-the-counter weight-loss drug were tampered with, and warned consumers to look out for suspect packages.

GlaxoSmithKline flags product tampering as wrong pills surface in alli packages

Some U.S. consumers found the wrong drug when they opened their packages of alli, the GlaxoSmithKline weight-loss pill, the company said. Glaxo is warning alli users to check their packages carefully and avoid taking any pills that might not be authentic.

GlaxoSmithKline yanks European app for Tafinlar-Mekinist combo in melanoma

The FDA may have given its blessing to GlaxoSmithKline's melanoma combo Tafinlar and Mekinist. But not so fast, says its counterpart across the pond. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants more information, and that has prompted GSK to withdraw its application--for now.

AstraZeneca takes control of its destiny in Japan with buyout

Japan is the second largest drug market after the U.S., and Western drugmakers are giving it new attention as growth slows elsewhere. AstraZeneca has upped its bet there, paying Sumitomo Chemical about $102 million to buy full control of its Japanese subsidiary AstraZeneca KK.

Pfizer's targeted Xalkori outshines chemo in trial of untreated lung cancer patients

Pfizer said its targeted cancer drug Xalkori trounced chemotherapy in a trial of previously untreated patients with a particular type of lung cancer. The study showed for the first time that up-front treatment with Xalkori staves off cancer growth better than other treatments in patients whose tumors test positive for ALK-gene abnormalities.

Hospira chief gets a $1.1M raise amid manufacturing revamp

Hospira CEO F. Michael Ball last year came out $1.1 million ahead, with $9.89 million in total compensation, compared with $8.78 million in 2012.

Suffering Eli Lilly freezes salaries, cuts bonuses across the board

Eli Lilly has once again put its payroll in the deep freeze. The U.S.-based drugmaker says most employees won't see salary increases this year because of patent-cliff losses. And Lilly is cutting cash bonuses, too.

Even at a discount, Sanofi's pricey cancer drug Zaltrap can't win at NICE

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has spurned Sanofi's colon cancer treatment Zaltrap once again. And this time, the decision is final. The cost-effectiveness agency dismissed the French company's appeal, despite the offer of a discount.

UPDATED: AbbVie CEO's pay doubles to $18.2M in Abbott pharma spinoff's first solo year

AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez has been on the job for just over a year, and already his pay has more than doubled. As chief of the newly minted pharma company, spun off from Abbott Laboratories last January 1, Gonzalez racked up $18.2 million in 2013 compensation, including $3.3 million in incentive pay.

Sanofi reportedly jumps into $12B race for Merck's consumer unit

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher may be reconsidering his November plans to spend just €1 billion to €2 billion per year on acquisitions. Rumor has it the drug giant is eyeing a bid for Merck's OTC unit, which could sell for up to $12 billion.

The 10 best-selling drugs of 2013

It is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.