News

Pharma shares sink as U.S. threatens tax-inversion crackdown

U.S. drugmakers have embraced the tax inversion strategy with open arms as of late, buying up foreign companies right and left and hauling overseas to take advantage of their lower rates. But U.S. officials are looking to stop them in their tracks--an intent that has some pharma investors worried.

Gilead Sciences prices Sovaldi in India at a tiny fraction of U.S. cost

The $84,000 U.S. treatment price that Gilead Sciences is charging for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi has elicited pleas from politicians and threats from payers, who say the U.S. healthcare system cannot bear the cost. But in India, Gilead will offer it at a discount--a 99% discount.

Sanofi enlists Emcure for cancer-drug marketing in India

To aid it with marketing its oncology lineup in India, the French drugmaker has brought on local company Emcure Pharmaceuticals, PMLiVE reports.

U.K. cost-effectiveness watchdog bars access to AstraZeneca's Iressa

Backtracking on a positive decision it made four years ago, Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has dealt a blow to AstraZeneca by withdrawing its endorsement of the company's drug Iressa for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients who have failed previous treatments.

Pfizer settles more off-label marketing cases tied to Rapamune

Pfizer has cleared the decks of a marketing scandal that it inherited with its 2009 acquisition of Wyeth. The New York drugmaker will pay $35 million to 41 states and the District of Columbia to settle a case accusing it of pushing a kidney transplant drug for off-label uses.

Novo shoots for 2016 Tresiba launch as Q2 results come in strong

Diabetes market giant Novo Nordisk surprised investors today with second-quarter earnings that came in above expectations, and the news that it plans to report critical clinical trial data on its long-acting insulin treatment, Tresiba, in mid-2015, setting the drug up for a 2016 approval by the FDA.

Can third to market be a charm for Lilly, Boehringer diabetes med Jardiance?

Without the safety concerns that plague its competitors, Jardiance may be able to make a splash.

The formularies are here! Brace yourselves for the 48 new exclusions

It started in 2011 with just a handful of drugs. CVS Caremark chucked 34 meds off its formulary, partly in a snit over copay coupons, partly just to see what would happen. Now, CVS' excluded list comprises almost 100 drugs and related products.

Pfizer needs to ink a big deal, pronto. GSK or Actavis, maybe?

A couple of things happened this past week to set off new chatter about a Pfizer megadeal. First, GlaxoSmithKline posted disappointing earnings and cut its full-year forecast, sending its stock into the dumpster--and its market cap tumbling. Then, Berenberg analysts issued an investor note extolling the potential virtues of a Pfizer-GlaxoSmithKline combo. Let the speculation continue.

Regeneron sales soar in Q2 on growing Eylea demand--what's new?

After a brief hiatus, Regeneron is back to steamrolling analysts' expectations. Tuesday, the drugmaker reported second-quarter results that topped Wall Street's projections, thanks once again to growing demand for macular degeneration treatment Eylea.

Zogenix seeks partner, steers Zohydro marketing away from weak New England

Marketing can be a bit like dating. If you're not getting results with one target, then it's best to focus on someone else. That's exactly what Zogenix is doing, by tweaking its Zohydro launch strategy.

AbbVie decides against Supreme Court appeal for ruling that extended rights to gays

Without explaining why, AbbVie has decided not to appeal a court ruling that extended rights to gay jurors which materialized out of litigation it has been waging with GlaxoSmithKline over the pricing of an HIV med. But it is seldom a good idea for a pharma company to antagonize its patient base. And gay men make up a significant number of the patients on HIV drugs sold by the drugmaker.

UCB hops on pharma's spinoff wagon with potential $2B sale of generics business

Shedding noncore assets is the trend du jour in Big Pharma, and now another company may be jumping on the bandwagon. Belgium's UCB is reportedly looking into a sale of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, its Princeton, NJ-based generics unit.

Roche persuades U.S. judge to toss $2M Accutane verdict

Roche has emerged victorious in its quest to reverse a $2.1 million verdict by a New Jersey jury in favor of a woman who blamed the Swiss pharma's acne med Accutane for her inflammatory bowel disease, Bloomberg reports.

Ackman's crusade for Valeant-Allergan combo gets a key nod from proxy advisers

Bill Ackman hasn't rounded up enough support to call the special meeting of Allergan shareholders that's crucial to Valeant's buyout bid. But now, he's got a proxy advisory firm to back his cause.

Note to Big Pharma: Discounts work. GSK price cuts score Advair a payer boost

GlaxoSmithKline giant Advair may be reeling, but it hasn't kicked the bucket yet. And now, it's getting a payer boost that will breathe a little life into falling sales. With dismal second-quarter results depressing investors, the news couldn't have come at a better time.

Hep C a rare disease? Drugs from Gilead, J&J, et al. could make it so, but at a price

The good news: Hepatitis C could be a rare disease just 20 years from now, thanks to stepped-up screening and new-but-pricey treatments. The bad: governments, taxpayers, private insurers and health-plan members will have to foot the bill. And it's quite a bill.

Novo Nordisk more valuable than GlaxoSmithKline? That's what investors say

Who'd have thought Novo Nordisk could zoom past GlaxoSmithKline in the pharma market value rankings? Predictable or not, that's just what's happened. As Bloomberg reports, Novo shares are up 27% this year, pushing its market cap to $120 billion, several billions past Glaxo's.

Is Medicare wasting $220M a year on Questcor's controversial Acthar?

Since Ireland's Mallinckrodt agreed in April to acquire the California-based biotech Questcor, questions have been flying about the major asset behind that deal: Acthar Gel. Now some medical experts suggest Medicare is paying way too much for Acthar.

Sanofi plots FDA app for blockbuster-to-be dengue vaccine in early 2015

Sanofi's in line to rack up blockbuster sales after hitting a wide-open market with its dengue vaccine, analysts predict. And company CEO Chris Viehbacher thinks those sales could start rolling in before next year is out.