News

Express Scripts pushes pay-for-performance to cut cancer drug prices

Pay for performance is a byword in executive pay. It's not unprecedented in pharma, what with European cost watchdogs and their hard line against pricey cancer meds. But it's not part of the drug-coverage equation in the U.S.--for now.

Vertex CEO's $45.8M paycheck spurs call for revolt

Vertex CEO Jeff Leiden took home a pretty penny last year, nabbing a $45.8 million pay package and ranking No. 40 among the highest-paid U.S. execs at publicly traded companies. But not everyone is happy with Leiden's hefty paycheck--and shareholders should do something about it, corporate governance adviser Institutional Shareholder Services told Bloomberg.

Valeant, Actavis on verge of FDA nods in IBS for Xifaxan, eluxadoline

Get ready for a showdown in the irritable bowel syndrome market.

GSK, Pfizer among Big Pharmas bailing on Chinese sales as provinces squeeze prices

When China said it would lift price caps on drugs, the move was heralded as welcome relief for drugmakers. But as Bloomberg reports, the optimism may have been premature. Yes, the price caps won't affect most drugs beginning June 1. But foreign drugmakers are facing pressure to cut their prices voluntarily--more than ever.

Investors: GSK chief Witty is safe for now, but one more strike and he's out

As GlaxoSmithKline charts a new course to return to growth, investors are willing to give CEO Andrew Witty some time to see it through.

Study: Gilead's Harvoni could save U.S. and Europe billions in worker productivity

Gilead Sciences has a new swath of research showing that investing in new hep C therapies could potentially save the U.S. and Europe billions of dollars in lost productivity.

California's pharma-friendly copay caps could spread to other states

It's official: California's state insurance exchange has capped drug copays. After weighing the new policy for months, Covered California slapped a $250 monthly copay cap on specialty meds, with specific limits on some drugs in some plans ranging from $150 to $500.

The legal death of Actavis' Namenda strategy spells doom for the 'hard switch'

A U.S. appeals court has officially spoiled Actavis' plot to force patients over to a new, patent-protected version of Namenda to preserve the med's revenues when generics hit. So if other drugmakers are considering the tactic, they'd better think twice.

Pfizer could buy GSK, but would Shire or Perrigo offer better targets?

The speculation is building this week that Pfizer will either attempt another megadeal with GlaxoSmithKline or another run on AstraZeneca. Either would cut Pfizer's tax rate and give it some products to salve its various ills, lackluster stock price and poor performing portfolio. But the new thinking, like in the last 24 hours, is that smaller deals, perhaps a buyout of Shire or even Perrigo, or both, are better bets.

Valeant chief Pearson won't be scared off by M&A 'bubble'

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson is plenty familiar with the pharma M&A space; after all, he's made scores of deals since taking up the post in 2008. And the way he sees it, with pickups happening left and right in the sector, some of pharma's recent acquisitions "are not going to work."

Merck's Keytruda, BMS' Opdivo score European nods to keep immuno-oncology race blazing

Merck's Keytruda gained some regulatory ground in Europe on Friday, nabbing a melanoma recommendation that Opdivo snagged last month. But Opdivo continued to charge ahead, too, winning a nod in lung cancer to help preserve its lead.

Celgene's next-gen psoriasis drug dissed by German cost watchdog

Celgene's Otezla has hit a snag with the notoriously difficult German cost watchdog IQWiG, which said it just doesn't see the added benefit over treatments already on the market.

England's Cancer Drugs Fund keeps Bayer's Stivarga, axes Eisai and Lilly meds

England's Cancer Drugs Fund has drawn a hard line when it comes to its list of covered meds, axing cancer treatments despite pushback from drugmakers. But Bayer scored a victory for its cancer med Stivarga, getting the fund to reverse its decision and keep the drug on its list even as rival companies lose similar battles.

Want the U.K.'s NHS to quickly adopt new products, drugmakers? There's an office for that

Drugmakers want market access and reimbursement for their new products as fast as possible, and now, the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is setting up an office with the same goal.

Endo sews up $9.2B financing for Par Pharma buyout

Earlier this week, Endo inked a pact to nab Par Pharmaceutical for $8 billion. But to do that, it'll need a loan, and it's agreed to a $9.275 billion loan package to back the acquisition.

CVS Health gets more drug pricing clout with $12B deal for Omnicare

Get ready for more of a squeeze on drugs used by seniors. CVS Health agreed to pay $12.7 billion for the pharmacy services company Omnicare, which specializes in assisted living and long-term care facilities.

Report: Cadila next in line for injectables bulk-up as it nears deal for Claris

India's Cadila Healthcare has emerged as the leading horse in a race to acquire the generic sterile injectables business of Claris Lifescience, and it's reportedly putting the finishing touches on a deal.

Aspen unloads $301M worth of meds to fuel expansion abroad

South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare is looking to expand its global footprint, and the company is selling off two of its pharma portfolios to India's Strides Arcolab for a combined $301 million to lighten its load and put extra cash in the pot as it gears up for international growth.

Novo, Baxter spar over hemophilia patent amid ITC probe

Baxter said back in March that Novo Nordisk's recently launched hemophilia med infringed some of its patents, spurring an investigation from the U.S. International Trade Commission. But the Danish drugmaker doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

German cost watchdogs look askance at uniQure's $1.4M gene therapy

German cost-effectiveness watchdogs aren't among pharma's favorite people. Since lawmakers instituted a tough price-setting process, state officials have questioned the benefits of one new drug after another--to the point where some drugmakers decided not to launch there at all.