A federal judge in Australia has put the kibosh on a half-million-dollar settlement over ill effects of Merck's ($MRK) painkiller Vioxx, a drug that has spawned billions of dollars in litigation.
The recent layoffs of hundreds of drug sales reps mean there are fewer people in the field calling on doctors to see what they are prescribing. But they don't have to--drugmakers have found new tools that actually can tell them more about doctors' prescribing patterns than the physicians even know themselves.
France drug regulator in January yanked Bayer's contraceptive Diane-35 off the market and insisted the European Medicines Agency investigate its off-label use as an acne treatment and its risks of blood clots. The EMA has done that and has come down in support of the drug, even for the off-label use.
Novartis prevailed in the latest court battle over jawbone injuries in Zometa patients. The company did properly warn patients about the drug's risks, a New Jersey jury determined after a 13-day trial.
Johnson & Johnson's new-generation rheumatoid arthritis drug now has a new approval in ulcerative colitis. Simponi, which J&J developed as a follow-up to its top-selling autoimmune therapy Remicade, could leap to blockbuster status with the help of this new indication, analysts say.
The FDA granted approval to GlaxoSmithKline's new respiratory drug Breo Ellipta. By itself, that's a solid victory for GSK, which needs to build up its respiratory franchise before Advair copycats finally make their way to market. Analysts figure Breo for a blockbuster in the U.S., with peak sales at around $1.3 billion.
Yesterday, Merck became the most recent pharmaceutical company to be hit with a gender discrimination suit--an occurrence that's become pretty common in the pharma world. But it wasn't just that senior sales rep Kelli Smith felt overlooked in a man's world. What compelled her to bring the suit, she claims, was the company's blunt admittance that sales reps having babies was bad for business.
Johnson & Johnson has been negotiating terms of a multibillion dollar settlement over aggressive marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal with federal authorities for at least two years, and now it is hung on talk over breasts, The Wall Street Journal says.
Plaintiff Kelly Smith claimed Merck systematically discriminates against women and pregnant employees, even cutting the pay of managers whose subordinates take maternity leave.
NPS Pharmaceuticals ($NPSP) racked up the first quarterly score on its $295,000-a-year treatment for short bowel syndrome, claiming early traction for Gattex. To be sure, the numbers are small: 42 patients and 160 prescriptions in Q1.