Express Scripts settles drug-switching claims; Taro Pharma terminates Sun merger deal; and much more

> Takeda's quest to expand in the U.S. market--and off-set expiring patents on big drugs--continues. The Japanese company announced today a $1 billion alliance with RNAi company Alnylam. Buyout report

> Pharmacy-benefits manager Express Scripts agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle allegations that it asked doctors to switch drugs primarily so it could get bigger rebates from pharmaceutical companies. Report

> India's Sun Pharmaceuticals said generics maker Taro Pharma has terminated its $454 million merger agreement. Report

> European regulators said Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb withdrew their application for a drug that combines the blockbuster anti-clotting med Plavix with aspirin. Report

> AstraZeneca sued Barr Pharmaceuticals to prevent it from selling a generic version of the drug Entocort EC, used to treat Crohn’s disease. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare named Roger Scarlett-Smith president of its North American operations; Scarlett-Smith, 48, previously was head of GlaxoSmithKline's Consumer Healthcare business in the United Kingdom. Report

> Dr Reddy's Laboratories,  the Indian generic company seeking to sell copies of AstraZeneca heartburn drug Nexium, said its patent litigation with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is continuing and it is considering options to speed up its resolution. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis said it's taking legal action in Germany against a possible generic competitor to its Plavix blood thinning drug, after the generic version was registered with German federal drug regulators. Report

> San Diego-based Favrille has halted development of Specifid, a treatment for follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Favrille report

> Emergent BioSolutions has inked a deal to acquire the Protein Sciences Corporation assets for up to $75 million. Report

> Struggling Discovery Labs signed a three year, $60 million financing deal with Kingsbridge Capital, a U.K.-based investment group. Discovery report

> Canada's Migenix is cutting its staff in an effort to preserve cash. The company, which is developing the anti-infective drug Omigard, cut six workers, reduced its CEO's salary and downsized its board of directors as it awaits results from a Phase III trial of the drug. Migenix report

And Finally... Media coverage of new drugs often fails to mention potential side effects and almost always leaves out treatment costs. Report