U.S. drug spending slows; Teva launches new generics; Worker steals lots of painkiller;

@FiercePharma: Is the friendly lion in "Madagascar 3" a dangerous drug spokesman? Groups ask FTC to investigate Merck's Claritin campaign. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> Look for spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. to fall to 2.9% this year, compared with 2.9% in 2011.

> European regulators have suggested restricting the use of tolperisone, a generic muscle relaxant drug used for spasticity and muscle spasms, because of concerns over hypersensitivity reactions. Story

> Teva ($TEVA) says it is now making a generic version of Novartis' Exelon, called Rivastigmine, and is for the treatment of some Alzheimer's and some dementia patients. Release

> Teva has introduced Olanzapine and Fluoxetine Capsules, its generic version of Eli Lilly's Symbyax, which is taken for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar I depression in adults. Release

> While regulators say there is no safety hazard, Merck agreed to recall a batch of measles, mumps and rubella vaccines after it was accidentally shipped to the U.S. before it had gotten the needed internal approval. Story

> Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez says the company's $150 million manufacturing plant near St Petersburg in Russia will be up and running in two years. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Check out the Fierce team's BIO 2012 convention slideshow featuring the faces of biotech leaders. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Benefits of scientific understanding exceed fears of Crichton-style weaponized bird flu fears. More | Follow @JohnCFierce

> The EMA is recommending approval of Novartis' ($NVS) Afinitor for advanced breast cancer, improving the Big Pharma's chances of making the drug into a blockbuster performer. Story

> Employees are moving into the $64 million Max Planck Florida Institute in Jupiter. Story

> Perrigo says it will invest $40 million in Israel to expand its R&D and manufacturing operations. Perrigo will also add 100 new workers to its fast-growing Israeli operation. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: We have extended the nomination deadline for the 15 fiercest medical device developers to July 13. Spread the word. Survey | Follow @FierceMedDev

> Olympus confirms fundraising negotiations in accounting scandal's wake. More

> DBS for Parkinson's patients still going strong after three years. Story

> Medtronic's stent graft picked for FDA pilot program. Article

And Finally... A worker at Amneal Pharmaceuticals' plant in New York has been convicted of stealing four pounds of pure hydrocodone over 6 months by hiding it in his work gloves a little at a time. Story