Spotlight On... Novartis kickbacks blows up as feds demand info on 80,000 doc events; PhRMA goes on the offensive; India's Biocon gets Japan's OK for Lantus copy; and more...

A Novartis ($NVS) whistleblower lawsuit has "exploded," the drugmaker says. That's because the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan has asked for documents about a whopping 80,000 doctor-education events that prosecutors call "shams"--and potentially violations of anti-kickback laws. In court filings, the whistleblowers--and now the U.S. government--claim that dinners at expensive restaurants and other venues were billed as educational events, but doctors and drug reps barely discussed the company's medications there. Novartis needs to hand over those documents to show whether those gatherings actually qualify as educational, the government says. More from FiercePharma

> Steve Ubl, the new CEO of PhRMA, says the lobbying group will take an offensive, rather than defensive, approach to facing issues like concern over pharma price increases. Story

> India's Biocon has gotten approval from Japan for its biosimilar of Sanofi's ($SNY) Lantus, a step Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw called a "credibility milestone" for the company. Story

> A study says risk of death goes way up for patients with Parkinson's disease who are treated with antipsychotic drugs. Blog Post

> The FDA has denied orphan drug status to Eagle Pharmaceutical's ($EGRX) Bendeka for CLL and indolent B-cell NHL. Report

And Finally... During a trip to Cuba, Pfizer's ($PFE) Dave Verbraska, VP of worldwide public affairs, found state-run pharmacies, domestically produced generic drugs and few imports. Blog Post