Pharma leads U.S. healthcare lobbying pack; Scrips insisting on branded meds cost billions;

@FiercePharma: Jurors debate in GSK-Abbott drug-pricing dispute. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> A year after Congress enacted sweeping health care reform, the lobbying bonanza is continuing, and Big Pharma is in the lead with at least 52 lobbyists. Report

> Prescriptions that stipulate that a brand-name drug must be dispensed rather than a generic could be costing U.S. patients around $1.2 billion a year, while the costs to the government could be as high as $7.7 billion, according to new research. Story

> A second late-stage trial of Roche's Lucentis has shown that the drug improves vision in diabetics suffering from a complication that can cause blindness. News

> Sigma Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark Hooper declared the worst of the company's three-year woes are behind it, despite reporting a $235.4 million loss after a $258 million non-cash goodwill impairment. Report

> Indian drugmaker Dr Reddy's Laboratories said it had launched a generic version of Belgian drugmaker UCB's allergy drug Xyzal in the United States. Article

> Actelion said hedge fund Elliott Advisors is trying to seize control of the Swiss drugmaker at a time when products in development are approaching key milestones. Story

> U.S. prices for brand-name drugs are rising faster than ever as patents expire on top-selling medicines and the pharmaceutical industry nervously eyes the future of healthcare reform. Story

> The worldwide market for copies of biotech medicines will grow to $3.7 billion by 2015, from just $243 million in 2010, as a raft of branded drugs lose patent cover, according to market analysis firm Datamonitor. Item

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech:  Cancer drug developer MethylGene raises $34.5M. Story  | Follow @FierceBiotech 

 @JohnCFierce: Americans pay $4K a month for Gilenya, Germans $2620. I wonder how much Yervoy will cost in Europe. Article | Follow @JohnCFierce 

> FDA hands Bristol a blockbuster approval for breakthrough cancer drug. News

> Neuroscience groups alarmed as pharma bolts brain drug R&D. Story

Biotech IT News

> At Partnerships, proactive medical monitoring for adaptive trials. Editor's Corner

> Orthopedic imaging network aids subject recruitment. Article

> Database gives Rochester Clinical a recruitment boost. Report

> Product Update: Symyx Notebook 6.6. Item

> Inference engine, EDC team to ID trial volunteers. Item

> Biomarker tool pilots cancer drugs into clinic. Article

Medical Device News

> Report: AstraZeneca reviewing bids for AstraTech. News

> J&J's Ethicon unit voluntarily recalls wound draining products. Story

> Medtronic gets good news on Consulta, Syncra CRT-P systems. Item

> UCSF, UC Berkeley team on brain repair devices. Article

> Tethys, Air Force to collaborate on PreDx study. Article

> Elana gets humanitarian device exemption for bypass device. Report

And Finally... Mayo Clinic researchers found that dopamine agonists used in treating Parkinson's disease result in impulse control disorders in as many as 22 percent of patients. Report