Merck: Vytorin outcomes study can continue; FDA sends warning to Chinese API maker;

 @FiercePharma:  Ex-Novartis sales rep wins maternity-leave case. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Merck says an independent data safety monitoring board has approved continuation of a big study meant to determine whether its blockbuster Vytorin cholesterol drug prevents heart attacks and stroke. Report

> FDA sent a warning letter to a Chinese manufacturer after an employee manipulated testing data on incoming raw materials used to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients. Report

> Germany is a step closer to cutting as much as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in drug spending after a plan to curb health costs won support among ruling coalition lawmakers, Health Minister Philipp Roesler says. Story

> Ratiopharm, the German drugmaker being sold by the Merckle family, beat its own forecast with 307 million euros ($423 million) in earnings. Report

> In his latest attempt to probe the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has written two big pharmacy benefit managers, as well as a trade group, asking them to provide information about their financial relationships with drugmakers. Report

> The majority of patients' organizations consider pharmaceutical companies untrustworthy, according to a soon-to-be-released survey conducted by a U.K.-based consultancy. Report

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Great article from Xconomy on what's at stake for Lilly, Amylin and Alkermes on the Byetta LAR decision. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Murmurs of trouble with Aveo IPO. WSJ mentions shareholders forced pricing delay yesterday, resisting price. Yikes. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Arena will launch lorcaserin with or without partner. Story

> Pfizer stops another figitumumab trial. Report

> Aveo proves investors still lack appetite for biotech IPOs. Item

> Cambridge, MA-based Genetix Pharmaceuticals has completed a $35 million Series B financing with new investors Third Rock Ventures and Genzyme Ventures joining TVM Capital, Forbion and Easton Capital. Story

> MiddleBrook plots major job cuts as CEO exits. Article

> Human Genome Sciences and BioInvent International have inked a deal to discover, develop and commercialize therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that specifically target antigens discovered by HGS. Report

And Finally... Sick of the time changes that daylight savings require? You're not alone. Report