U.K. unions vow battle over AstraZeneca job cuts; Pakistani officials deny approving drug linked to deaths;

@FiercePharma: Japanese drugmakers have been big on M&A. But is it paying off? For Daiichi, not so much--WSJ. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> U.K. unions say they will fight mandatory layoffs at AstraZeneca ($AZN), citing the company's dividend increase as evidence that it can afford to keep more jobs. News

> Pakistan's Central Drug Testing Laboratory is denying ministerial allegations that it had cleared Isotab, the drug manufactured by Efroze Pharma and banned by the World Health Organization after it was linked to recent deaths. Item

> Montreal officials say they're working on a $40 million program to develop Quebec's personalized medicine know-how, in the wake of several Big Pharma layoffs. Story

> Experts are questioning the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's new epilepsy treatment guidelines, saying they don't reflect recent advances and rely on inadequate evidence. Article

> The U.S. Army is probing a dietary supplement after two soldiers died while exercising; some say the ingredient, DMAA, should be classified as a drug. News

> Fitch Ratings deemed India's pharma industry stable for 2012 as global demand for generics grows and patents expire in developed markets. Report

> The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry found it necessary to release a statement saying AstraZeneca's layoffs don't indicate doom for the U.K. pharma industry, but trouble worldwide. ABPI release

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: AstraZeneca's R&D chief in China lays out $100M strategy. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce:  Exelixis is posting some new data on cabo Ib for renal cell carcinoma - est. median PFS of 14.7 months. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@FierceMedDev: Study: Hospitals Overpay for Devices--WSJ. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Norway will soon be the first country to incorporate genome sequencing into its healthcare system. Why can't the U.S.? Story | Follow @MarkHFierce

> Gilead shares surge as hep C drug scores a cure for big patient population. Article

> Threshold, Merck KGaA strike $525M licensing deal for promising cancer drug. News

> Idenix gets good news on hep C trial, but can't compete with Gilead. Story

And Finally... Researchers say the real malaria death count for 2010 is 1.24 million, not 655,000 as the World Health Organization estimates. Report

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