Novartis taps Akin Gump to lobby in DC; Google shareholder sues over pharmacy ads;

@FiercePharma: Top drugmakers report payments of $150M to 165K docs so far this year, FT finds. Last full year: $437M. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Novartis ($NVS) has hired Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to lobby in Washington about vaccines after spending $3.6 million on lobbying during the first half of this year. News

> Novartis' ($NVS) Alcon unit in the U.S. sued Apotex to block a generic version of the allergy-fighting nasal spray Patanase. Report

> A Google ($GOOG) shareholder has sued the company and its board, claiming they breached fiduciary duties by running the online pharmacy ads that led to a $500 million settlement with the U.S. government. Story

> After investing $650 million in Vodafone and eyeing pharma investments in U.S. and Europe, Piramal is looking at bidding for India's Future Capital, the financial services arm of Future Group. Article

> In Europe, 95% of doctors go online for professional reasons, and the same percentage uses handheld devices to download apps and access medical information. Item

> BASF plans to increase prices for generic APIs and pharmaceutical excipients by 10% beginning Sept. 1. Report

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Actelion drug macitentan flunks PhII but safety data bolsters confidence in blockbuster PhIII. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: The Guardian runs down a litany of biotech failures, challenges and ends on a quick 'up' note regarding collaborations. Piece | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: New Facebook app "PiggyDemic," from scientists at Tel Aviv University, aims to simulate how viruses spread and mutate. Item | Follow @RyanMFierce

@MaureenFierce: Adimab adds Novo, Biogen Idec to roster of antibody partners. Story | Follow @MaureenFierce

> NuPathe shares in meltdown after FDA rejects migraine patch app. Article

> FDA highlights new tech to monitor trials. News

> New R&D culture at GSK forces a challenging showdown. Story

> Niche cancer drugs highlight the targeting trend in R&D. Item 

> U.K.'s biotech stars may be fading, but new hopefuls. Report

> Bleeding risk spikes for Astellas's PhII anticoagulant. Article 

Biotech Research News

> JHU researchers have a full platelet of blood-clotting research. More

> Researchers find new clues into spread of influenza B. News

> A possible solution found for TTR-related amyloid diseases. Report

> So, a needle-pulling-thread is outdated, doc goes sutureless. Article

> Patient in stem-cell treatment for MS reports improvement. Details

> Researchers dream up a new cause for narcolepsy. Story

Manufacturing News

> Sabotage suspected in U.K. painkiller case. News

> Distributor plans to excise supply chain links. Story

> WHO committee report keeps pharma current. Brief

> Abbott taps manufacturing smarts in Haiti rebuild. Details

> Venus warning letter belies poor 483 response. Article

> Time to put the innovation into manufacturing. More

> U.S. tax reform or not, offshore beckons. Report

And Finally... Scientists found a genetic variant linked to liver cancer in hepatitis C carriers. News