Roche sells four drugs to Meda; Jubilant sends Hollister chiefs packing

> Roche agreed to sell four products to Sweden's Meda for $176.9 million, including the antidepressant Aurorix and anticoagulant Marcoumar. Release

> Indian pharmaceutical giant Jubilant Organosis, which acquired Hollister-Stier Laboratories about 14 months ago, jettisoned two of the Spokane-based drug maker’s top executives late last month for undisclosed reasons. Report

> The average monthly premium for Medicare's prescription drug plan will increase to an estimated $28 in 2009, three dollars more than this year's monthly premium, Medicare officials announced. Report

> Parents who don't safeguard their medications are putting their teenagers at serious risk of addiction to prescription drugs, according to a national survey. Report

> Giving a high dose of the anti-clotting drug tirofiban--a.k.a. Merck's Aggrastat--to heart attack victims while on route to the hospital could improve their chances of survival, a new report says. Report

> Shares of the UK's Protherics surged more than 30 percent after the biotech announced that "a number of parties" have expressed an interest in buying the company. Report

> Avalon Pharmaceuticals is axing about a third of its staff as it scrambles to find new funds. Report

> A combination of a weakened currency and an urgent need to cut costs at big pharma companies is driving a surge of drug development and manufacturing business for India. Report

> The small biotech Insmed has been lobbying for new legislation that would clear a regulatory pathway for biosimilars. Report

> According to BioMS Medical, an independent monitoring board has recommended that a phase II/III study of dirucotide (MBP8298) in patients with secondary progressive MS should continue to completion. Report

And Finally ... U.S. officials are increasingly confident that Merck's rotavirus vaccine doesn't carry the same risk of intestinal blockage that doomed a previous shot. Report

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