AZ blankets 26,000 pharmacies with Brilinta stocks; Bayer nabs EU approval for long-term contraceptive;

@FiercePharma: Eli Lilly taps India's Strides Arcolab to make/distribute generic cancer drugs in emerging markets. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> Aiming to amp up availability--and sales--of its blood thinner Brilinta, AstraZeneca ($AZN) has rolled out a new program with more than 26,000 pharmacies. Report

> Bayer won European approval for its new long-term contraceptive, a hormone-releasing intrauterine device. Report

> A Canadian court granted class action status to a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), which accuses the company of falling short in warning of Paxil's risk of birth defects. Report

> Pfizer ($PFE) launched its targeted lung cancer drug Xalkori in the U.K. for ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Report

> Moody's Investors Service upgraded ratings on Denmark's Novo Nordisk ($NVO) to A1 from A2. Report

> Fitch Ratings affirmed French drugmaker Sanofi ($SNY) at AA- with a stable outlook. Report

> Iran faces widespread drug shortages as banking-industry sanctions affect availability, especially of treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis and blood disorders. Report

> The BMJ is urging the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to pressure drug companies to produce all data, published and unpublished, from clinical trials. Report

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: SurgiQuest pulled in $18.5M in new funding for an abdominal cavity surgical tool. Release | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Another day, another lawsuit against a faulty metal hip replacement--this time against Biomet. Story | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: The Israeli medical device industry is on the up-and-up, and Medtronic is paying attention, an exec says. News | Follow @DamianFierce

> Device startup nails $3.64M Series A for hemorrhage-control device. Item

> Kona Medical closes $40M round for renal denervation device. News

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: In Alzheimer's mystery, key biomarker will determine success of pivotal studies. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: At the very least, Merck should redesign the patient selection process on MK-8931 and concentrate on mild/prodomal Alzheimer's cases only. | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: AstraZeneca has answered German price cuts to drugs with $AZN workforce cuts of 400-650 workers in the country. Release | Follow @RyanMFierce

> FDA blamed for stymying new antibiotics. Story

> Chelsea Therapeutics sinks on latest PhIII results of lead fainting med. News

> German biotech Wilex slashes staff after Phase III misfire. Report

Drug Delivery News

> Leukemia nanoparticles get drugs to the right spot. News

> Team shoos away superbugs with puffs of powder. Report

> Iluvien stumbles on rocky road to market in U.K. Article

> Dissolving fabric could stop pregnancy, HIV. Story

Biomarkers News

> Experts: Britain's NHS must build genetic testing infrastructure. News

> In Alzheimer's mystery, key biomarker will determine success of pivotal studies. Article

> Supreme Court to tackle gene patent case. Item

> Gene analysis marks new targets against childhood cancer. Report

> Biotech grabs $2M to discover biomarkers for personalized autism treatment. News

> Biomarker spotted for colon cancer stem cells. Story

And Finally... A St. Louis cardiology practice has sued Forest Laboratories ($FRX) for bombarding it with faxed invitations to promotional seminars. Report