News

Branded drug prices leapt almost 15% last year, led by pain pills, COPD and heart meds

It's no secret that branded drugmakers often rely on price hikes to keep U.S. sales growth coming, especially on older meds whose patents are close to the ends of their lives. But according to new data, prices spiked more than 10% last year--a trend that may fuel the payer backlash that's been steadily mounting.

New Celgene meds power forward, but Revlimid's still the Big Kahuna

Celgene edged past analyst estimates for the fourth quarter and full year, with earnings of $3.71 per share and $7.67 billion in revenue for 2014. Its powerhouse remedy for multiple myeloma, Revlimid, still accounts for the lion's share of those sales, at $4.98 billion in 2014 revenue, an increase of 16%.

Looking to get out of the hot seat, Salix to restate financials for past 7 quarters

After completing a review of inventory issues that inflated sales figures for some of its products, Salix is going to tell it like it is. The company will restate its financial reports for the last 7 quarters, a move it thinks will put the issue to rest.

Ex-FDA chief testifies against J&J in Risperdal liability case

Johnson & Johnson knew as early as 2001 that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could cause boys to grow breasts, former FDA chief David Kessler testified in Philadelphia court Wednesday. That's 5 years before the company added a warning about the side effect to the drug's official label.

Gilead zooms past AbbVie in hep C race with UnitedHealth deal

Gilead Sciences racked up another point in the pricing battle with its hep C rival AbbVie as UnitedHealth Group chose Harvoni as its preferred hepatitis C treatment over AbbVie's Viekira Pak, weeks after Gilead scored deals with three insurers to make Harvoni the primary option for patients.

Trans-Pacific trade talks on biologics not even close to agreement: USTR

Don't look for any Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on patent lengths for biologics this year. That was the message delivered at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Pakistan's proposed drug-pricing policy, two years in the making, satisfies no one

SINGAPORE--More than two years in the making, Pakistan's proposed new drug-pricing policy still hasn't won over drugmakers. The country's health ministry proffered a draft that would peg prices to those in India and Bangladesh, with generic prices at 30% less, on average, than the brand price in those neighboring countries.

Lupin now free to make a $1B deal with foreign investors, thanks to Indian cabinet decision

Lupin is now allowed to sell off up to 49% of the company--if it decides it wants to--in a deal or deals that could be worth more than $1 billion. At Lupin's request, India's Cabinet decided to raise the cap on foreign investment in the company; previously, Lupin was allowed to sell up to a 33% stake.

Amgen zooms past $20B in sales, sparked by Enbrel, Neupogen and denosumab

After leapfrogging pharma stalwarts like Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb with its 2014 revenue haul, Amgen is enjoying its new status as one of the industry's top-selling drugmakers. And it's hoping new regulatory filings for multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis can help it keep the sales leaps coming.

Novartis braces for psoriasis pricing war as it preps for Cosentyx launch

Novartis' Cosentyx may be the first next-gen psoriasis treatment to hit the U.S. market, but it certainly won't be the last--and the Swiss drugmaker knows it. So while competitors usher their own prospects down the regulatory pathway, the company is girding for the price war it envisions in its future.

Mylan said to be eyeing a $7B-plus bid for rising star Hikma

Hikma Pharmaceuticals is no stranger to buyout rumors. The Jordan-based drugmaker pops up often in deal talk, partly because of its sales and infrastructure in emerging markets. Now, there's another reason or two--its recent win on the gout drug Mitigare and its impending entry onto London's Financial Times Stock Exchange. New rumors, too.

Roche misses the mark in 2014 despite sales wins

Roche announced a mixed bag of 2014 earnings that rang in below analysts' estimates, reporting a dip in revenue despite increases in sales for new cancer treatments. But the Swiss drugmaker is forecasting "solid" sales growth in 2015.

Armed with Indian approval, Gilead forges ahead with Sovaldi and its licensed copies

SINGAPORE--Undeterred by its loss of a new patent bid for its Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) hepatitis C drug in India, Gilead Sciences put together package deals with 8 of the country's generics makers to add an experimental drug to a deal for low-cost copies in 91 poor countries around the world. Meanwhile, Gilead said Sovaldi won marketing approval this month in India and it's off and running in that country.

UAE forces pharma to cut prices on 280 meds as weak oil prices hit

SINGAPORE--Beginning next month, 26 international drugmakers will be earning less in the United Arab Emirates from many of their drugs. The companies negotiated a deal with the country's Ministry of Health in the latest reduction to drug prices, with one unfortunate product's price forced down by 55%.

Emerging Asian pharma markets poised to show solid growth in 2015: report

The emerging pharmaceutical markets of Asia are expected, with a few exceptions, to grow this year and beyond, most providing attractive platforms for investments in the local industries, according to a series of analyses.

Pfizer extricates itself from investor suit with $400M settlement

Pfizer got a federal judge to toss an investor lawsuit last year tied its now-withdrawn pain drug Bextra. But it wasn't the only investor suit raising similar issues, namely that the board had not been forthright about issues with the drugs. Another was just days away from trial, that is until the drugmaker agreed to settle it for $400 million.

Novartis eyes more cost-cutting moves to deliver faster-growing profits

Novartis is looking for big things as it doubles down in oncology, hives off vaccines, and teams up with GlaxoSmithKline on consumer health. It's looking for impressive results from its new meds, especially its forthcoming heart failure drug LCZ696 and brand-new psoriasis med Cosentyx. And it's thinking that these changes will help it bear the battering from generic competition.

J&J employee sniffs out spy camera in unisex bathroom

With all the info that's available online these days, the only place that might feel private is behind closed doors in the bathroom. Not so for some staffers at Johnson & Johnson in New York City, where an employee discovered a pinhole camera hidden inside a unisex bathroom. 

With generic losses on the horizon, Pfizer puts up a stormy 2015 forecast

Pfizer is forecasting 2015 earnings that ring in below the Street's expectations. But there could be some light at the end of the tunnel for Pfizer, as it posted promising performances for its cancer drugs and vaccine franchise.

Bristol-Myers braces for Abilify patent loss, predicting big sales drop for 2015

Bristol-Myers Squibb took a top-line hit in 2014, but that's mostly because it sold its share of a diabetes alliance to partner AstraZeneca. This year, it's looking for an even bigger slide--with no big divestment to blame.