ALSO NOTED: Merck agrees to extended deadline; Millennium disputes IMS data on Velcade;

> Merck agreed to extend the deadline for Vioxx settlement filings to May 1, giving patients who want in on the deal more time to get their paperwork together. Report

> Upset by a report from IMS Health that showed sales of cancer med Velcade dropping, Millennium Pharmaceuticals filed a rejoinder with the Securities and Exchange Commission; at least some analysts were convinced, advising investors to ignore IMS's first-quarter data on the drug. Report

> As expected, California regulators agreed to delay their plans to track all prescription drugs from factory to patient; the deadline for drug makers and pharmacists to comply is now January 2011 instead of January 2009. Report

> Novartis stock gained 3 percent Tuesday on news that Health Canada approved its Diovan drug for congestive heart failure patients who can't take ACE inhibitors. Report

> Big Pharma is spending more on magazine advertising and less on online marketing, according to a report from Neilsen Monitor-Plus. Report

> The German drug maker Ursapharm Arzneimittel announced it would enter the Indian pharma market via a joint venture called Ursapharm India, planning to launch eye drops, ointments, nasal sprays and nasal drops. Report

> Research spending into new drug developments jumped to $58.8 billion last year, according to a new study by PhRMA and Burrill & Co. That represents an increase of $3 billion. Release

> Looks like stressed out doctors might soon have a little less paperwork to worry about. According to the Wall Street Journal, the nonprofit group iHealth Alliance is set to launch an online network "that will email alerts [about warnings and label changes, etc.] to doctors who sign up." Report

> Frustrated by the long years of research needed to prove the effectiveness of a new cancer therapy, British officials have designated a network of 19 hospital units that will be allowed to administer early-stage experimental cancer drugs to terminal patients. Report

> Big Pharma companies are often quick to turn their backs on a drug that doesn't deliver the kind of data needed to win approval as well as big markets. But a series of these failed development programs have been resurrected by scientists who decided to search for the kind of genetic biomarkers that would define a group of patients who would respond positively. Report

> Manipulating insulin levels raises the level of the master gene-regulating protein SKN-1, significantly prolonging the lives of microscopic worms in one study. Report

And Finally... Think your dog has spring fever? It may be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Doggie Disorder, easily treatable with Fidolin--and you can take it, too! Report