FDA: Ranbaxy's Lipitor safe for patients; CBO determines Medicare drug use cuts medical services costs

@FiercePharma: Russia's OTC drug market to grow by 11.5% by 2016, consultants say. Now at $16.4B. News | Follow @FiercePharma

> The FDA says Ranbaxy Laboratories' copy of Lipitor is safe for patients to take, after reviewing information from the company; last week, Ranbaxy recalled some lots because of potential contamination with glass particles. Report

> A Congressional Budget Office report concludes that a 1% increase in filled Medicare prescriptions yields a decline in spending on medical services. Report

> Most teens with mental disorders aren't treated with prescription drugs, a National Institutes of Health study found, quelling some fears about the overprescribing of psychotropic meds in youngsters. Report

> Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) settlement with Australian patients who received faulty knee implants won court approval, with compensation set at a minimum of $31,000 per patient. Report

> India's Aurobindo Pharma is set for FDA approval on a new plant in Hyderabad, the Economic Times reports. Report

> A derivative of vitamin B-5 sold as a cholesterol fighter in Japan may be useful in patients who can't tolerate the side effects of prescription drugs that lower cholesterol levels. Report (sub. req.)

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: Volcano snags Crux Biomedical for $36M. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Sorin gained approval in Japan for a new heart valve--a huge win and market. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: And there's the biggest deal of the year in devices: Baxter says it's buying Gambro for $4 billion. News | Follow @DamianFierce

> Add 'heart monitor' to the iPhone's many uses. Report

> Merit dives back into M&A with buy of catheter maker. Item

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Synthetic compound halts Alzheimer's neurodegeneration in mice. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: If the court really does scrap off-label rules, I'm sure all the reps will carefully observe all proprieties, stay conservative (oh, yeah). | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Nice analysis on pediatric drug dev. situation in U.S. from Bloomberg. Should industry cure kids first? News | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Big Pharma earns mixed grades on late-stage drug development report card. Story

> Flexion banks $20M VC round, shifts focus to late-stage osteoarthritis drugs. Article

> Geron axes dozens of staffers after careening into another trial flop. Report

Pharma Manufacturing News

> NextPharma unloads U.S. manufacturing arm, Bioserv. Report

> Sandoz India development center loses in realignment. News

> Protein Sciences takes over fully equipped Wyeth vaccine plant. Story

> Neopharma to produce Merck Serono branded meds in Middle East. Article

Biotech Research News

> Synthetic compound halts Alzheimer's neurodegeneration in mice. More

> MGH/Harvard drug treats Huntington's in 2 mouse studies. Article

> Stem cells from blood may be more patient-friendly. Story

> Amgen antibody combats obesity, diabetes in monkeys. News

And Finally... A dose of empathy from their doctors can help patients tolerate pain, a study finds. Report