Aricept weakness erodes Eisai profits; Small businesses take stand against Express-Medco deal;

@FiercePharma: Discounts, dealmaking and OTC plans: Pfizer aims to hang onto as much Lipitor as possible. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

> Declining sales of the Alzheimer's drug Aricept weighed on Eisai's first-half profits; the Japanese drugmaker posted a 17% decline in net income. Story

> A small business advocacy group is writing Federal Trade Commission officials to protest the pending merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions. News

> Generics maker Par Pharmaceutical ($PRX) reported earnings of 74 cents per share, slightly higher than analysts had expected, aided by strong sales of its blood pressure drug Metoprolol. Item

> Wholesaler AmerisourceBergen posted higher-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter, fueled by strong generic sales and specialty-drug revenues. Article

> Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) hiked its full-year forecast after strong contraceptives sales helped deliver a 39% increase in generics revenue. News

> Endo Pharmaceuticals is moving to a new headquarters in Malvern, PA, by the end of the year. Story

> GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) had its shares upgraded to Outperform by Cowen and Company analyst Steve Scala, who calls the company's growth prospects "solid." Report

> The number of annual deaths from prescription-painkiller overdoses has nearly quadrupled over a decade as the drugs became more common and easier to obtain. Story

> Vietnamese drugmaker Ha Tay Pharmaceutical was only able to sell 20% of its 6.7 million-share stock issue, all of it purchased by existing shareholders. Item

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Medical experts argue in favor of beleaguered AZ/BMS diabetes drug dapagliflozin. Item | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Exelixis has always had problems with study designs; source of issue with BMS. Fight the FDA, though? Shares tank. Piece | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: UK drug delivery co Oxford Pharmascience has raised £1.1M for Brazil biz and generics Article | Follow @RyanMFierce

@MaureenFierce: Sanofi set to rev past Pfizer in pharma rankings. Report | Follow @MaureenFierce

> Pharmasset shares continue rise on PhIII plan for interferon-free PSI-7977. News

> Medical experts argue in favor of beleaguered AZ/BMS diabetes drug. Article

> Report: Sanofi alerts U.S. workers to new layoffs in R&D restructuring. Story

Medical Devices News

> Medtronic unveils procedure for minimally invasive spinal fusion. More

> BD falls after failing to meet profit forecast expectations. Report

> Abbott gets nod for Xience Prime. Story

> Medtronic CoreValve study initiated in Japan. Item

> Wright Medical sees net sales decline 3%. Piece

> Axis-Shield, CVS Caremark's MinuteClinic ink deal. Item

Drug Delivery News

> InflammaGen combats "self-digestion" with new delivery and treatment system. More

> Access Pharma tapping investors for $5.2M. Article

> SurModics selling drug delivery unit to Evonik for $30M. News

> Pacira's FDA nod marks win for extended-release tech. Report

> NanoSmart targets tiny 'bubbles' of cancer drugs to childhood tumors. More

> VC-backed Pulmatrix touts inhaled drug tech's delivery of Advair. Article

And Finally... Exercise can cut the risk of obesity even in genetically predisposed people. News