News

WSJ: Pfizer spinoff Zoetis might be Valeant's backup plan if Allergan bid fails

Rumor has it, thanks to potential white knight Actavis, Bill Ackman and Valeant face a serious threat to their Allergan hostile bid. But Ackman may already be preparing for another move.

Italy, the land of pharma plenty, boasts three hidden billionaires in its ranks

Italy: the land of good food, rich history and pharma billionaires. The country boasts a number of pharma giants in its ranks thanks to recent deals and the continued success of decades-old businesses.

Winners and losers at AASLD? Check out Merck, AbbVie, Gilead and J&J data

No question, the hepatitis C drug market is about to get even more interesting. With AbbVie's three-drug regimen up for approval before the end of the year, and Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb racing up behind, the market share tussle with current players Gilead Sciences and Johnson & Johnson is coming.

FDA finds another Indian drugmaker selling contaminated drugs

India's Cadila Pharmaceuticals has run afoul of the FDA for not doing enough to track down the source of impurities in some products and failing to investigate when customers complained about odors emanating from its APIs.

U.S. judge blesses Pfizer's $325M settlement in Neurontin class action

A decade-long class action lawsuit against Pfizer over alleged off-label Neurontin marketing is finally wrapping up, with U.S. District Judge Patti Saris approving a $325 million settlement on Monday.

Top teaching hospitals urge Congress to 'review' Genentech distribution change

Roche's Genentech unit is facing more pushback over distribution-channel changes for its three best-selling cancer treatments. Leaders from top U.S. teaching hospitals and medical institutions are asking Congress for an "expedited review" of the Roche unit's decision.

Take as directed? U.K. health service teams with academics, pharmacy on drug adherence

It's an established fact: Many patients don't take their meds as directed. Another established fact: That failure costs the healthcare system hundreds of billions. A third: Solutions are difficult to come by.

Some psych experts want FDA to yank black-box warning on antidepressants

In the 10 years since the FDA found that antidepressants carried an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in teens and slapped a black box warning on the drugs, psychiatry experts remain divided on the warnings' efficacy, with some calling for a removal of the label altogether.

Shire CEO happy to fly solo again after AbbVie deal's collapse

Post-Shire-breakup, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez says his company will be scouting about for other "strategic" M&A hookups. But Shire chief Flemming Ornskov isn't interested in courting another buyer.

Merck's head-to-head Vytorin trial might be surprisingly flattering

Merck & Co. just disclosed some welcome news for its own investors--and potentially for competitors, too. Not to mention all the market watchers ready for the long IMPROVE-IT trial saga to come to an end.

Japan unveils sunshine data of its own, raising eyebrows after Diovan scandal

Just as the dust is settling after the big rollout of doctor-payment data in the U.S., a new round has made its debut--in Japan. According to The Japan News, the country's top 10 drugmakers shelled out 190 billion yen ($1.66 billion) to doctors in fiscal 2013 in the form of research payments, speaking fees, entertainment, medical seminars and the like.

Need more on ex-Sanofi CEO Viehbacher's sudden exit?

If you haven't yet read enough about ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher's departure, check out Bloomberg's latest.

Judge's 'serious questions' about Ackman trading in Allergan may fire SEC into action

Valeant partner and leading Allergan shareholder Bill Ackman may have won the right to vote his shares at a Dec. 18 special meeting, at which he hopes to upturn Allergan's board in favor of a slate more friendly to the Canadian pharma's $54 billion hostile bid. But thanks to a judge's opinion, he may soon have some additional insider-trading allegations on his hands.

NYT: Pfizer lobbied Missouri AG to win favorable off-label deal

In an investigative piece published this weekend, the New York Times fingered Pfizer lawyers for wining, dining and otherwise influencing an attorney general to get a favorable lawsuit settlement. Pfizer says the back-and-forth was all aboveboard and part of routine legal negotiations.

J&J eyes dealmaking in China to ratchet up pharma sales

Bribery and pricing investigations aren't scaring Johnson & Johnson away from China. CEO Alex Gorsky tells The Wall Street Journal that his company is expanding full speed ahead in the fast-growing emerging market--and is actively looking at deals there to boost pharma sales.

For sale: Bankrupt Dendreon and its laggard Provenge, for $275M or more. Any takers?

Struggling Dendreon has tried streamlining its manufacturing process for cancer vaccine Provenge. It's tried laying off hundreds of employees, cutting operating costs and raising capital. And it's tried putting itself up for sale. But no dice: The company is still swimming in a sea of debt that Monday spurred it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Eisai 'speechless' after another Fycompa price smack-down from Germany

Germany's cost-effectiveness gatekeepers have delivered another blow to Eisai over the price of Fycompa. And the verdict, just the drugmaker's latest frustration over the epilepsy drug, has left it "speechless" and "dismayed."

FDA lets Endo, Dr. Reddy's make Valcyte copies but stays mum on status of Nexium generic

The FDA says it has approved two companies to make generics of Roche's Valcyte but will not give any clarity on plans for a generic of AstraZeneca's blockbuster Nexium after nixing earlier approvals for troubled Ranbaxy Laboratories to make both drugs.

Ackman, confident Valeant can outbid Actavis, suggests an Allergan auction

Now that Allergan has two interested buyers on its trail between Valeant and Actavis, leading shareholder and Valeant partner Bill Ackman has an idea: Run an auction.

WSJ: Salix inventory issues helped scuttle Allergan buyout

At one time, Allergan was so confident it could lock up an acquisition of Salix Pharmaceuticals to thwart Valeant's hostile bid that it reportedly snubbed potential white knight Actavis when it came calling. But those talks have long since stalled, and now, Salix is investigating an inventory blip that The Wall Street Journal's sources say was a dealbreaker.