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Pharmaceutical News Harvest (TM)

Release:  Final Update After 20 Years

Dear Visitors:  Today is the final update of the Pharmaceutical News Harvest.  I am retiring!

I owe all of you a debt of gratitude.  You made this site a success.  You made me feel like a success and helped me and my family along the way. 

It's been a privilege to be an information portal for thousands of my colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 2 decades. 

Alas, it's time to move on to different challenges.

Keep in touch (especially if you have a well paying part-time job),


4/6 Takeda CEO Statements Fortify Belief Shire Deal Will Proceed
Hopes rise for Shire sale as Takeda CEO discusses case for deal … comments from the head of the Japanese drugmaker on the merits of a deal. … Expectations that Takeda Pharmaceutical will bid for London-listed rare disease specialist Shire (SHP.L) before an April 25 deadline … [Reuters]

AbbVie: Successful Legal Finagling Mean Humira Will Be A $21 Billion  Product By 2020
- Potential US competitors promise no biosims till 2023
$21B or bust! AbbVie ensures its blockbuster US marathon on Humira will run into 2023 … Six months after AbbVie struck a deal with Amgen that allows a knockoff of Humira to hit US shores on January 31, 2023, Samsung Bioepis and Merck signed off on an agreement to unveil their biosimilar on June 30, 2023 … [Endpoints News]

Muscular Dystrophy Advocates Ask Trump To Invalidate Patent Of Drug
They Bulldozed Through FDA
Trump administration is urged to override patents on pricey muscular dystrophy drug …asked the federal government to sidestep a handful of patents on a pricey drug used to treat a rare form of muscular dystrophy as part of an ongoing campaign to provide wider access to high-cost medicines … [Pharmalot]

Pharma's Global Reputation:  Sucks But It's Getting Better
'Corporate Reputation of Pharma in 2017-- the Patient Perspective'… 43% of respondent patient groups thought that the pharma industry had an "Excellent" or "Good" corporate reputation in 2017--against 38% saying the same in 2016 … on integrity, 31% described the industry as "Excellent" or "Good" compared with 28% in 2016 … [Patient View]
Editor's Note: 
It was a 95 country survey; data not broken down by geography.  BUT, if you see that a company is #1 two years in a row it's a good indication that company has a good reputation.

AZN, Shire Payola Scandal; $42 Million Secret Funds Alleged
£20m 'secret payments' to plug drugs by Astrazeneca and Shire … cover payments such as consultancy fees and "related expenses" and travel and accommodation for events  …  payments have been made despite a European self-regulatory code of conduct … [Times UK]

4/5 Fast Takes
Riding a wave of positive PhIII readouts, Pfizer gets a snap review for lung cancer drug dacomitinib
Endpoints News
Lilly's Cyramza succeeds in late-stage liver cancer trial
Justice Dept. says it will seek to join settlement talks in opioid lawsuits
Rosenberg: Could Henry Schein be a target of Amazon's ambition?

4/5 Repatha TV Ad Conjures Up Fears Of Heart Heart Attack To Drive Demand
Amgen darkens the mood in new Repatha TV ads, warning of heart and stroke risks … ambulance siren goes off, the restaurant dining scene freezes and darkens as two EMTs walk up, place their hands on a guest's shoulder and begin to pull them away toward a waiting ambulance … [Fierce Pharma]
Editor's Note: Amgen won approval in December to say the drug prevents heart attacks and stroke.

Minnesota penny a pill opioid tax faces uncertain Future In  Minnesota
'Penny-a-pill' funding fades under pressure from pharmaceutical industry… Taxing medicines prescribed for legitimate medical needs is not an appropriate funding mechanism for the state's budget … It's time for the pharmaceutical companies to pony up. …[Minnespta Pubic Radio]

4/5 Novartis China Accused Acused Bribery, Money Laundering
Swiss drugmaker Novartis faces bribery allegations in China …  not the first time that the Swiss drugmaker was involved in bribery allegations in China … "It's a open secret that pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to prescribe their drugs or buy their medical equipment in China …[Global Times]

Analysis: CEOs Of BMS, Gilead & Especially PFE Are Overpaid
Which Big Pharma CEOs Least Deserved Their Big Pay Increases? …BMS's Caforio and Gilead's Milligan received total compensation increases that were greater than their stocks' total return in 2017. But the most glaring outlier was Pfizer, whose CEO received a huge total compensation boost last year that was nearly four times the stock's total return …[Motley Fool]

Proposed Trump Tariffs To Affect Insulin, Antidepressants
- China, along with India, accounts for most of the bulk ingredients and the FDA has called China a "major provider."
Trump Tariffs Target Key Ingredients for Dozens of Drug … 25 percent tariff would be placed on raw ingredients for drugs such as insulin used by diabetics, the anti-allergic-reaction drug epinephrine, as well as vaccines, blood products and antidepressants, according to the list … [Bloomberg]

Baby Powder Cancer Trial 1st Male Plaintiff Goes To The Jury
- 46 year old banker claims 30-year baby powder habit gave him mesothelioma
J&J Jury Set to Weigh Banker's Claims Baby Powder Caused Cancer … claims that he and his family's use of the company's talc exposed him to asbestos from 1972 to 2003 … J&J knew almost 49 years ago there was asbestos in their talc …[Bloomberg]

Fast Takes
Eisai Submits to FDA for FYCOMPA (perampanel) Pediatric Indications
CP Wire
Yep, Martin Shkreli's 5,000 Percent Drug Price Hike Is Still In Effect
Huff Post
Buyout Target Express Scripts Has 30%-Plus Upside
Medicare drug prices soar at 10 times rate of inflation, report says
Pfizer Takes On Gilead, Novartis With New Deal In Cancer Drugs
Investors Business Daily

Axios Pulls Back Curtain On PBM Tactics, Contract Template
The drug pricing contract Express Scripts doesn't want you to see … after our story ran, the company's lawyers forced DocumentCloud to remove the contract template, claiming copyright infringement … some of the most important tactics large PBMs use to protect their financial interests … based on portions of the Express Scripts template
as well as …[Axios]

4/4 Valeant CEO Pay Shrinks 90% (But Still Much More Than You Make)
After 2016's monster bonus--and investor complaints--Valeant CEO's pay crashes from $62M to $5M … present for his performance, despite the fact that the company missed its financial targets under his guidance … $6.7 billion in debt reduction and its success in combating management team and sales force turnover …[Fierce Pharma]

4/4 Wallmart Looks To Acquire 5 Year-Old Internet Pharmacy For $1 Billion
Walmart is looking at buying PillPack, an online pharmacy, for under $1 billion … start-up that helps manage prescriptions by packaging pills together and delivering them, for less than $1 billion. … not yet finalized and could still fall apart …Amazon also courted the online pharmacy start-up …  [CNBC]

4/4 Allergan: Sacrifice Womens Health Unit To Buoy Share Price?
- One of several options on table to boost balance sheet
Allergan Weighs Options for Women's Health Unit … products such as the birth control pill Lo Loestrin Fe and menopause treatment Femring … stock has fallen 32 percent in the past year while  …[Bloomberg]

4/4 Medicare Considers Sharing Rebate Savings With Part D Patients
Medicare puts off decision on lowering drug prices patients pay at the pharmacy … patients pay less, but the government would pay more … unclear whether lowering the amount of money that the patient pays at the pharmacy would actually lower the total amount of health care spending. …[STAT]
CMS lowers the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries … reduction in the maximum amount that low-income beneficiaries pay for biosimilars … generic drugs to be substituted onto plan formularies at any point during the year …[]

4/4 Pfizer In Talks With P&G To Sell Its Consumer Business
Pfizer in talks with P&G on sale of its consumer business, though they are far apart on price: Sources … includes Chapstick lip balm, Advil pain reliever and Centrum vitamins…. P&G was looking to pay around $15 billion, while Pfizer is said to be seeking $20 billion or more …[CNBC
Editor's Note: GSK kicked the tires on Pfizer's OTC business but balked at the $20 Bln price tag.

Fast Takes
Amgen's money-back guarantee for its pricey cholesterol drug may not deliver
Ed Silverman's Pharmalot
White House is urged to sidestep patents on opioid overdose treatment
Ed Silverman's Pharmalot
Death From Loperamide; Intentional Overdose Of Anti-Diarrhea Drug
Takeda's debts raise doubts over its ability to finance Shire bid
Telegraph UK
PBMs: Pharma's Middlemen Have Targets On Their Backs

Alkermes Depression Rx Slips On Regulatory Banana Peel
- FDA demands more clinical trials
FDA dismisses Alkermes' pitch on '5461, demanding new depression trials in a damaging setback … Alkermes $ALKS made a high-stakes gamble that the FDA would consider approving their big depression drug ALKS-5461 on the basis of a single positive Phase III study -- and they lost … agency FDA]  had issued a refuse-to-file letter for the drug, seriously delaying any shot at an OK\ … [Endpoints News]

4/3 JAMA:
Legal Cannabis Put Dent In Opiate Consumption
- 2 studies hint that legal marijuana cuts down on pain pills
Opioid Use Lower In States That Eased Marijuana Laws … reduced the number of opioid prescriptions by 3.7 million daily doses… homegrown marijuana for medical use saw an estimated 1.8 million fewer pills  … findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs … [NPR]
Where marijuana is legal, opioid prescriptions fall, studies find … [STAT]

Teva, Valeant Price Hikes Trigger California Price Shaming Law
Teva, Valeant price-hike plans trigger warnings under California's new transparency law: report …  63% price hike on a generic glaucoma drug, while Teva plans a 49% price increase for an inhaled asthma drug … disclose certain costs and forces pharmaceutical manufacturers to give advance warning of their price hikes …[Fierce Pharma]

4/3 Large Eye Drops:  Drug Companies Ask Supremes To Weigh In
- Patients claim it wastes money; drug companies say leftover quantity irrelevant impact on price
Drug companies want Supreme Court to take eye-drop dispute … bottles dispense drops that are too large, leaving wasted medication … patients shouldn't be able to sue in federal court because their argument they would have paid less for treatment is based on a bottle that doesn't exist and speculation about how it would affect their costs if it did … [Wash Post]

The Seroquel Saga:  Off Label Superstar:
One of America's most popular drugs -- first aimed at schizophrenia -- reveals the issues of 'off-label' use …  Seroquel remained a blockbuster, with $3.6 billion in sales from 2014 to 2016. In the drug's titanic success and its strong link to off-label prescribing lies a cautionary tale … [Wash Post]

New Lilly R&D Boss: New Lilly Will Take More Risks; Be More Audacious
Tired of finishing in last place, Eli Lilly's new R&D chief wants to shake things up … we were slow getting up the courage to move into human trials for various reasons. We are looking to change that … more aggressive in early-stage development as he works to completely shed a well-earned reputation for a go-slow clinical approach … [Endpoints]

Reimportation: The Issue That Refuses To Die
Americans Need Safer Access To Canadian Online Pharmacies … many Americans are still purchasing their prescription medications from Canada even when they are covered in the U.S. under Medicare or receive health care coverage through their employer … [HuffPost]

How Pfizer Breathed Life Into Once Failed CHF Med
How a failed Pfizer rare heart-disease drug came back to flatten its rivals ... when Pfizer tried for approval of tafamidis in a related disease several years ago, the FDA shot it down … We've been working on it for a long time so to have it read out positively, it's exciting but also moving …[Market Watch]

Senate Requests Probe Of Lomustine Price Gouging
- 1400% price hike of 40-year old cancer drug ; $50 a pill in 2013; $790 per pill today
Drug Price Hike Sparks Senate Probe … from Tri-Source Pharma over 1,400% jump in price of Lomustine … letter asks for company documents and information since 2011 about sales, profits and expenses for the drug… [WSJ]

Fast Takes
Canada Health green-lights unpopular prescription-only woman's aphrodisiac
Edmontin Journal
Impax fined $20 Million in Solodyn pay-to-delay litigation
Allergan's much-maligned tribal licensing deal wins reprieve at appeals court
Fierce Pharma

Former CVS Exec Joins Trump Team Fixing To Reduce Drug Prices
- Formerly a CVS' top exec regarding Part D book of business
Azar taps former CVS executive to help lower drug prices … tapping a former CVS Caremark executive to lead the agency's efforts to lower drug prices … According to HHS, Daniel Best will be Azar's senior adviser for drug pricing reform. Best was most recently a vice president of industry relations for CVS's Medicare Part D business … [The Hill]

4/2 Happy 20th Birthday to Viagra, the Accidental Boner Pill That Changed America
Happy 20th Birthday to Viagra, the Accidental Boner Pill That Changed America … Within two months of going to market, "approximately one million prescriptions had been written in the U.S. alone … Pfizer wanted to hit $1 billion in sales during its first year of availability so it hired GOP presidential candidate and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kans.) to serve as pitchman for the drug … [Reason]

4/2 Majority Of Pharmacies Surveyed Don't Use Drug Supply Chain Security Act Pedigree Database
- Original idea was to protect supply chain from illegitimate products 
Drug Supply Chain Security: OIG Finds Pharmacies Received Most Tracing Information … of the 40 dispensers, 25 reported that they never review the drug product tracing information they receive …lack of awareness of DSCSA requirements raise concerns  [Regulatory Focus]

4/2 New Teva Boss, Novo Refugee, Has Ginormous 6-Month Payday
- More than twice the Shekels of the guy he replaced; started in September '17
Lilly: Big Players Pay Less Than Half Of Sticker Price For Drugs Such As Insulin
Half-off sale at Eli Lilly as drug rebating climbs to 51% in 2017 … mandatory government discounts have resulted in U.S. insulin prices that are "among the lowest in the world, and lower than developed markets with single-payer, direct-purchase models …[Fierce Pharma]

4/2 Pfizer: Novel Drug For Rare Form Of CHF Meets Endpoint
- Tafamidis is used to delay impairment of peripheral nerve function in adults with familial amyloid polyneuropathy.
Pfizer's rare heart disease drug succeeds in late-stage study … reduced deaths and need for hospitalizations in a late-stage study …  tafamidis met the main goal of statistically significant reduction in deaths and frequency of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations compared with a placebo at 30 months … [Reuters]

4/2 Enbrel Knockoff Delayed Again
Novartis Likely Delayed In Launching Copycat Of Amgen Blockbuster …  patent trial was scheduled to begin April 17 … attorneys for Sandoz said in court documents filed Wednesday that they would prepare for the trial to start on June 20 … [Investor's Business Daily]

4/2 Sanofi Hypes Experimental SGLT Blocker For Type 1 Diabetics
Sanofi seeks to restore leadership in diabetes treatments …  intended for use as an addition to insulin therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes. According to consultancy EvaluatePharma, sotagliflozin has potential to become a blockbuster with $1.16bn annual sales  … [Goinpharma]
Editor's Note: Good luck getting this on formulary if it ever does come out.

3/30 Breaking: Walmart Has Humana in its Shopping Cart
Walmart is reportedly in early-stage acquisition talks with Humana .... The news comes amid a rush of deal chatter as insurers are under pressure to lower medical care costs. .... CNBC

3/30 Gottlieb to Push FDA into Broad New Roles in Food and Diet
FDA to consider what 'healthy' means and other claims food companies can make .... The agency plans to explore what it means for food products to be considered healthy and may create an icon or symbol to label those that meet the possible new definition .... CNBC

3/30 Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head: Why Takeda Might Not Be Able to Swallow Shire
Takeda Shares Fall as Investors Queasy Over Possible Bid for Shire .... At current share prices, it would mean Takeda was trying to take over a company larger than itself. Its market value as of Thursday's close was about $38 billion. London-listed Shire, which has its headquarters in Ireland but does most of its business in the U.S., closed Wednesday with a value of roughly $45 billion .... WSJ$$

3/30 Walgreens New Store Pilots Emphasize Services
Walgreens Readies New Store Formats As Amazon And CVS Loom .... Walgreens Boots Alliance will unveil a new format in pilot stores over the coming months that will bring together retail, healthcare and other services currently offered separately in some stores .... Forbes/Bruce Japsen

3/30 Cards Close to Chest on Brexanolone Pricing
Sage Therapeutics CEO: Have to weigh investor returns but will price postpartum drug 'fairly' .... The theory behind the postpartum treatment is that the condition is caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain.... Sage Therapeutics believes brexanolone "corrects that rapidly and acutely." .... CNBC

3/30 Lilly Pain Pipeline: Galcanezumab, Tanezumab, Lasmiditan
Lilly's bet on pain stands out amid bare pharma pipeline .... Over the next three years, the Indianapolis drugmaker hopes to make a mark by bringing three therapies to market for pain. Among major U.S. pharma companies, Lilly's push to develop novel non-opioid painkillers is relatively unique .... BioPharma Dive

3/30 Pundit Says No Way AbbVie Can Come Close to Replacing Humira Revenue
AbbVie Has a Growing Credibility Problem .... Abbvie said in October it could see more than $35 billion in risk-adjusted sales from non-Humira medicines in 2025, and as much as $47 billion if things go especially well. The company generated $28.22 billion in sales last year, with $18.4 billion coming from Humira, the world's best-selling drug. .... Bloomberg Gadfly

3/30 Broader Indication for Blincyto
FDA Approves Blinatumomab for MRD+ ALL .... Blinatumomab was previously approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. The accelerated approval of blinatumomab for MRD-positive is contingent upon confirmatory results .... OncLive

3/30 FDA Puts Drug Info in an App
FDA launches mobile app to improve access to information about drugs .... Currently, the Drugs@FDA webpage is available for patients to search for information about FDA approved drug products — including patient information, drug labelling, approval letters, reviews and other information. The new mobile app will be a streamlined version of this site .... EPM

3/30 FDA Antibiotic Tool
New FDA Web Tool Will Help Doctors Prescribe the Right Antibiotic .... The FDA has recently launched a new website for sharing data points known as “breakpoints.” These breakpoints help identify the drugs that will be most effective in treating a given bacterial infection .... Pew Trusts
Direct link: FDA-Recognized Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Interpretive Criteria

3/30 1 in 4 Health Dollars in US Goes to Patients with Diabetes
Diagnosing Diabetes: How Much Did it Cost in 2017? .... The sum included included $237 and $90 billion in direct medical costs and reduced productivity.... The average medical expenditures were ~$16,750 per year for people with diagnosed diabetes, with ~$9,600 attributed to diabetes .... HealthDay News/MPR

3/30 Ozempic Weight Loss Results Presented at Endocrine Society; Tops Saxenda Comparator
Can a Diabetes Drug Help Obese People Lose Weight? .... About 65 percent of participants taking semaglutide lost at least 10 percent of their body weight, compared to only 10 percent from the placebo group and 34 percent in the liraglutide group. .... Healthline

Tweet of the Day

3/30 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Teva launches generic version of Shire's top-selling internal medicine
BioPharma Dive
Pfizer's rare heart disease drug succeeds in late-stage study
Faced with fresh concerns about Hemlibra's safety, Roche spells out what it knows about 5 deaths
Endpoints News
Abbott invests in diabetes care start-up
Health-Care M&A Balloons in Busiest Start in More Than a Decade

3/29 Shulkin Out
Veterans Affairs Secretary Is Latest to Go as Trump Shakes Up Cabinet .... The announcement punctuated what has been a sharp fall from favor for Dr. Shulkin, a politically moderate former hospital executive, who delivered Mr. Trump a string of bipartisan legislative victories at a time when he was struggling to find them .... NY Times

3/29 Advancing Biosimilars at Top of Gottlieb's To-Do List
FDA working on a 'dozen' policies to boost copycat biotech drugs .... Gottlieb said he was concerned about the impact of deals like the CVS Health purchase of Aetna on the ability of pharmaceutical companies to block the entry of cheaper copycat drugs .... Reuters

3/29 Doctors Were Using Teva's Coreg Generic for an Indication Still Covered by Glaxo's Patent. Glaxo Sued and Lost
Teva Wins Ruling Tossing $235 Million Glaxo Drug Verdict .... The judge said there wasn't enough proof Teva caused doctors to prescribe the generic for congestive heart failure. Instead, there was evidence that doctors were relying on other information .... Bloomberg

3/29 Shire Now in Play on Takeda Interest; Will Anyone Else Bid?
UPDATED: Shire shares rocket up after Takeda says it's pondering a takeover bid .... For Takeda CEO Christophe Weber, a Shire acquisition would drive a big expansion in the Boston area, where the Japanese company has been concentrating much of its R&D operations .... Endpoints News

3/29 Proving the Value of a Drug Costs a Lot of Time and Dollars
In Battle To Cut Drug Prices, Outcome-Based Pricing Carries Big Risks For Biopharma .... Without robust outcomes data, you might get FDA approval, but you'll never get buy-in from payers. This is a big difference in the R&D landscape from not too long ago when FDA approval was the major hurdle .... Forbes/John LaMattina

3/29 Golden State Price Hike Law Sees Frequent Players Valeant and Teva
California's drug transparency law yields early surprises .... Advance notice of drug price hikes finds increases up to 63 percent, but whether public pressure will make a difference won't be known for a while .... Politico

3/29 Health Plan Uses Script-Shaming to Cut Painkiller Use
Cigna Says It Reduced Opioid Use By 25% .... Cigna says that the reduction was not caused by simply denying claims for opioids, but by its staff physicians carefully reaching out to doctors to make sure they understood how their prescribing behavior compared to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the behavior of other prescribers .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

3/29 Study Claims Drug-Resistant Infections Amount to an extra $1,383 on Every Hospital Bill. Problem Persists Because Docs Don't Want to Deny Antibiotics
The Yelping of the American Doctor .... Online patient surveys are driving doctors to overprescribe antibiotics, and it's making us all sick .... Wired

3/29 Symfi, a New Triple Combo for HIV
FDA Gives Mylan's New HIV Drug a Thumbs-Up .... FDA has approved Mylan NV's Symfi (efavirnenz, lamivudine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for adult and pediatric HIV-1 patients who weigh at least 40 kilograms .... Biospace

3/29 Snapchat Your Statin
Selfie Medicine: Phone Apps Push People to Take Their Pills .... Selfie medicine works like this: Open an app on your phone, show your pills, put them in your mouth and swallow. Don't forget to show your empty mouth to the camera to prove today's dose is on its way. Then upload the video proof to the clinic .... NY Times

3/29 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
FDA to USP: Biological Product Monographs Could Delay Biosimilar Approvals
Regulatory Focus
Edge to Cut Jobs as Head Injury Drug Flops in Phase 3, Shares Tumble
Tesaro posts mixed Phase 2 data for Zejula combo
BioPharma Dive
Esperion bolsters cholesterol drug with new combo data
BioPharma Dive
Colon cancer screening rates vary widely across U.S.

3/28 1.6 Million Elderly Pain Patients Will be Cut Off by New Medicare Regs
Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer. .... The rule means Medicare would deny coverage for more than seven days of prescriptions equivalent to 90 milligrams or more of morphine daily, except for patients with cancer or in hospice .... NY Times

3/28 Deaths of Hemlibra Patients Spark Warning Messages
Hemophilia patients warned of 5 deaths among patients taking Roche's big new blockbuster Hemlibra .... "Genentech has limited information about the circumstances surrounding these deaths. However, as reported by Genentech, these deaths have all been deemed unrelated to Hemlibra by the investigator or treating physician" (from a statement from Hemophilia Federation of America) .... Endpoints

3/28 Like UnitedHealth, Aetna Will Pass Drug Rebates to Members in Employer-Sponsored Plans
Aetna will pass drug discounts along to some members at the pharmacy counter .... The policy will be applied to Aetna's employer-sponsored group health plans, benefiting an estimated three million individuals. The population makes up a minority share of Aetna's 22.2 million medical members. .... Marketwatch

3/28 Glaxo Buys Out Partner Novartis in OTC Business
GSK Gets Full Control of Sensodyne Maker for $13 Billion .... Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley's Glaxo agreed to pay $13 billion for Novartis's stake in a joint venture that includes Panadol pain relievers and Theraflu cold remedies. The agreement gives Novartis's Vas Narasimhan more firepower for the Swiss giant's drug business and acquisitions .... Bloomberg

3/28 Market Skeptical on Cigna-Express Scripts Takeover; Cigna Says 'Full Speed Ahead'
Five Takeaways About Cigna's Strategy for Express Scripts .... Cigna plans revenue growth of 6% to 8%, and expect to find $600 million in "administrative synergies" .... Drug Channels

3/28 Glucose Monitoring System Approved, Can Be Used with Other Devices
FDA approves DexCom's glucose monitoring system .... The FDA has approved DexCom Inc's monitoring system to check blood sugar levels in children and adults suffering from diabetes, which can be used along with devices such as insulin pumps. .... Reuters

3/28 Opdivo-Yervoy Combination for mCRC Filed with FDA
FDA Accepts Bristol-Myers Combo Application .... The biologics license is for the drug combination for adults with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that has progressed after treatment with fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan .... Biospace

3/28 #DataMining Twitter and Support Communities for Side Effects
How Social Media Can Reveal Overlooked Drug Reactions .... Doctors and drug companies are analyzing social networks to get a faster, wider look into how patients react to drugs, sometimes picking up information about side effects that clinical trials missed. .... NPR

3/28 Inspiring Story of Kathy Giusti and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
She Was Given Three Years To Live. So She Transformed Cancer Research .... Giusti's survival has a lot to do with luck. Cancer is unpredictable. But it's also in part due to the philanthropic organization she founded in 1998, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The MMRF has helped accelerate ten myeloma drugs to market, from Takeda's Velcade to Johnson & Johnson's Darzalex, by speeding up clinical trials .... Forbes/Ellie Kincaid

3/28 Novo Nordisk, J&J, Novartis Lead in Social Engagement
Pharma's social media strategies are growing up—and working better, too, report finds .... Leading the pack in terms of engagement was Novo Nordisk, which also ranked at the top of the last Social Check-up in 2016, growing its weighted engagement score by 13%. Novo Nordisk was followed by J&J, with an increase of 111% in its engagement score, and Novartis, which jumped 77% over its 2016 score .... Fierce Pharma

3/28 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Novartis touts U.S. filing plans for MS drug as patent losses loom
Testing for hepatitis C lags with baby boomers despite high infection rate
Washington Post
Novartis CEO Aims to Double China Sales on Faster Drug Approvals
Newly discovered organ may aid in cancer diagnosis
A new poll found that a majority of Americans support a radical change to the US healthcare system
Business Insider via MSN

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