Indian officials OK deals, quelling fears; Israel adds pricey drugs to subsidized list;

@FiercePharma: Patent cliff + R&D disappointments + regulatory issues + economic woes = a tough 2012 for pharma, Fitch says. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> Newly empowered Indian deal reviewers cleared four proposed acquisitions that had been held up, quelling fears of a chilling effect on foreign investment. News

> Israel added 77 new drugs and devices to its list of subsidized treatments, including cancer treatments such as Novartis' ($NVS) Afinitor, Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Yervoy, and Roche's ($RHHBY) Zelboraf, and hepatitis C meds Victrelis, from Merck ($MRK), and Incivo, from Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX). Report

> Fitch Ratings says 2012 will be a tough year for drugmakers, thanks to the patent cliff, R&D disappointments, regulatory challenges and ongoing economic woes. Report

> Merck KGaA predicts sales growth of 20% over the next three years in India, fueled equally by increases in over-the-counter and prescription treatments. Article

> The Pakistani government sealed a drug factory in Lahore, saying 27 people died after using medications produced there, possibly because of heavy-metals contamination. Story

> The Medicines Co. said it settled patent lawsuits over its anticoagulant drug Angiomax with generic challenger APP Pharmaceuticals. Report

> The European Medicines Agency warned drugmakers against the use of niche subcontractors in clinical trials, saying the fragmented assignment of tasks could strain compliance. Article

> The European Medicines Agency recommended suspending medications that contain the sedative meprobamate because of the risk of potentially deadly side effects. News

> Celgene ($CELG) elected Richard Barker, former director of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, to its board of directors. More

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: What's making Big pay for mobile tech? Drives to streamline trials ops and, of course, sell more drugs. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Scientists strip the brake off of T cells in mouse study, amp up immune response. Article | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: Educators jumping aboard the Big Data bandwagon with industry clamoring for help #bioinformatics--. Article | Follow @RyanMFierce

@MarkHFierce: B.U. has found some genetic triggers behind the onset of menopause. Info could help treat age-related diseases. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

@FierceMedDev: An interesting read: Med tech consolidation brings a need for focus. Here are 2 ways to get it. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

> BioMarin perfects the popular rare disease drug model. News

> Columbia shares nosedive after FDA experts reject preterm birth gel. Article

Medical Devices News

> Stent advances expected to prop up European market. Story

> Covidien's Almeida to add title of chairman. Piece

> EU breast implant scandal may affect FDA's view on faster device approvals. Article

IT News

> Big Pharma testing waters with mobile tech. More

> Oracle injects genomics capability into analytics platform. News

> Medidata chief calls company 'the cloud' for clinical data. Story

> Consumers to pharma: Let's be Facebook friends (or not). Item

> Oracle, Parexel among leaders in CTMS market poised to hit $1.3B. More

> FDA brings new work flow software into its labs. Article

And Finally... Fast genome sequencing holds promise for Japanese rice farmers in need of salt-resistant plants for tsunami-flooded fields. Report