Spotlight On... U.K. watchdogs reject Vertex's CF med Orkambi, citing $147K annual cost; Sanofi's Praluent cuts need for apheresis treatments in Phase III study; French president wants drug pricing on G-7 agenda; and more...

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) is facing a roadblock in the U.K. for its new, pricey cystic fibrosis treatment Orkambi. The country's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended against funding the drug, saying that it did not demonstrate enough benefits to patients to justify its high cost. Report

> A Phase III study of Sanofi ($SNY) and Regeneron's ($REGN) Praluent met its primary endpoint, with patients adding Praluent to their other cholesterol meds cutting the frequency of apheresis therapy by 75% compared with placebo. Release

> French President Francois Hollande wants drug pricing to be on the agenda at the G-7 summit in Japan in May. Report

> Lawyers in multidistrict litigation over alleged gastrointestinal side effects of Daiichi Sankyo blood pressure med Benicar are at odds over a defense motion to preclude so-called "woodshedding" of plaintiffs' treating physicians. Report (reg. req.)

> Chinese police have detained 37 people linked to a vaccine scandal and are investigating three pharma companies. Report

And Finally... India is sticking up for its right to issue compulsory licenses, which allow local drugmakers to override drug patents and produce cheaper copies. More

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