Amgen flexes for Roche showdown

"Did I just meet with the mob?" It's not a question you'd expect to hear after a pharma rep comes to call. But according to the New York Times, Amgen is playing hardball to protect its anemia drugs as Roche prepares to launch a competing product, Mircera, next month.

Already, the companies are embroiled in a patent suit; a judge has ruled that Mircera oversteps the bounds of one Amgen patent, so Roche has lots of persuading to do. Meanwhile, the two companies have been conducting "war games" to prep for an anemia showdown. And Roche has been mulling a pricing strategy that would buy market share by increasing the cut for wholesalers and dialysis centers that choose Mircera.

Whose tactics will win? We'll only find out if Mircera makes it to market. A new patent trial is scheduled to start in December.

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Read more on: Amgen | Roche | Anemia drugs