Spotlight On... VA to stop restricting hep C drugs, offering them to all infected veterans; FDA approves Teva's Viagra generic; Former J&J CEO Ralph Larsen dies; and more...

In a boost to Gilead Sciences ($GILD) and AbbVie ($ABBV), the Veterans Affairs Department says it will provide hepatitis C treatments to all veterans in its health system who have the virus, regardless of their disease stage, the Military Times reports. It says the VA last year got a budget boost to cover the cost of hep C meds for the estimated 174,000 veterans enrolled in the VA health system who have the disease. The publication says the VA projects it will spend $1 billion this year for Gilead Sciences' hep C meds, which cure the disease in about 99% of cases. The VA had been criticized for limiting availability because of the cost while presidential candidate Sen. Barrie Sanders has urged the agency to pull the patent on the drugs so cheaper generics could be substituted. AbbVie makes competing Viekira Pak. Story | More

@FiercePharma: BeiGene approved to start China leg of global BTK inhibitor trial. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: Vertex, committed to continuous manufacturing, has Hovione build plant to complement the one it already has. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Perrigo execs collect $2.75M in bonuses for fending off Mylan takeover. More | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> The FDA has approved Teva's ($TEVA) generic version of Pfizer's ($PFE) ED drug Viagra, which under legal settlement will be launched in December 2017. Report

> Dr. Reddy's ($RDY) will take three biosimilars to Turkey in an arrangement with TR Pharm. Release (PDF)

> Ralph Larsen, the former CEO of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), who helped expand the company's pharma and device operations before stepping down in 2002, has died at age 77. Story

> India's Supreme Court has dismissed suits that Ranbaxy whistleblower Dinesh Thakur filed against drug regulators there saying they were not doing enough to protect the domestic drug industry. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: FDA loss in Vascular Solution off-label promotion case foreshadowed Amarin settlement, Artlce | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: Hmmm... all the media bumpkins can say Rubio won again. This is all you need to know. | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Apple plots smartphone-based medical device application for Apple Watch. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Boston Sci wins FDA approval of ablation catheter to treat atrial flutter. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Corvus shoots for $80M in an IPO to support its immuno-oncology pipeline. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Interesting to think that pointing out what Trump got wrong could become a full-time job for the next 4 years. More | Follow @JohnCFierce

> GlaxoSmithKline dumps Five Prime's cancer drug in the midst of Phase I. Story

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