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3/6 AbbVie Pays 'Staggering' Price for Share of Imbruvica
AbbVie's Bid Ups Ante as Buyers Bet on Cancer Drugs .... The $261.25-a-share offer ended a bidding war with Johnson & Johnson that went late into Wednesday. AbbVie is gaining just half of the profits from Imbruvica, the medicine for which Pharmacyclics has a partnership with J&J .... Bloomberg
Why AbbVie May Have Overpaid for Cancer Drug Maker .... The primary patent on Imbruvica expires in 2026, so there isn't much time to earn a sufficient profit on the investment. Even adding in the nearly $1 billion of cash on Pharmacyclics' books and the value of medications in early stages of development, it's hard to see AbbVie coming out ahead .... NY Times/Deal Book

3/6 "Improved Humira" on Tap
AbbVie CEO says new form of Humira could thwart generics .... Asked if AbbVie intends to switch current Humira patients to the new formulation, if it is approved, [Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez] said it was too soon to predict, but that such a strategy would make sense .... Reuters

3/6 Contrave Maker in Serious Hot Water Over Data "Leak"
Top FDA Official Says Orexigen Data Unreliable, Likely False .... If Orexigen cannot find way to set things right, it could face fines, civil penalties, or even the withdrawal of Contrave from the market .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

3/6 "The Baby is Fine — But Your're Not"
Pregnant Women Are Finding Out They Have Cancer From A Genetic Test Of Their Babies .... Sequenom Laboratories has revealed that its prenatal genetic tests have uncovered cancer in at least 26 pregnant women .... BuzzFeed

3/6 Ikaria Acquired
Mallinckrodt buys respiratory drug maker for $2.3 billion .... Ikaria manufactures INOmax, a drug Ikaria says is approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat hypoxic respiratory failure in infants. .... St. Louis Business Journal

3/6 Zarxio OK Imminent
With US' First Biosimilar Approval Expected This Week, is FDA's Biosimilar Labeling Guidance Imminent? .... With FDA set to reach an approval decision on Zarxio on 8 March 2015—the company's biosimilar drug user fee date—it seems likely that the agency will accompany any biosimilar approval decision with the release of its biosimilars labeling guidance .... Regulatory Focus

3/6 Docs Expected to Take 'Go Slow' Approach to Biosimilars
Tufts: biosimilars will not be an instant hit .... While 66% of the 42 surveyed US doctors said they would consider prescribing lookalikes for new patients, 33% said they would not switch patients from a branded to an unbranded biosimilar .... MM&M

3/6 Never Mind on the New Drug Discovery, Merck Tells Cubist Scientists
Merck dumps 120 Cubist researchers after its $9.5B merger .... The company informed employees today that it's backing away from the antibiotic specialist's drug discovery efforts, dialing down operations at Cubist's Lexington headquarters but promising to keep up work on later-stage products .... Fierce Biotech

3/6 Help is on the Way for Double Chin Sufferers
FDA staff backs injection to reduce double chin .... The drug, ATX-101, is a formulation of deoxycholic acid, which destroys fat cells under the chin but leaves surrounding tissue largely unaffected .... Reuters

3/6 Digoxin May Increase Risk of Death by 30%
Common Drug for Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Worse Outcomes .... Patients who take the heart rhythm drug digoxin may face a nearly 30 percent greater risk of death than patients not taking the drug .... HealthDay News

3/6 New IUD Approved
Liletta, Actavis Hormonal Contraceptive Device, Wins FDA Approval .... The intrauterine device (IUD) device, Liletta, releases the hormone levonorgestrel to inhibit thickening of the womb lining, preventing pregnancy for up to three years .... Medical Daily [auto-play audio]

3/6 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
A drink a day may not be good for everyone
Reuters
Dentists might be able to screen for diabetes
Reuters
Gates Foundation sinks $52m into CureVac
Pharma Times
Oregon, Illinois join state crusade to limit patient copays
Fierce Pharma


3/5 Opdivo Gets NSCLC Indication, 3 Months Ahead of Expected Decision
U.S. FDA approves Bristol-Myers immunotherapy for lung cancer .... Opdivo, known chemically as nivolumab, was approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer after the disease has progressed following platinum-based chemotherapy, typically the first-line treatment against the disease. It was previously approved to treat advanced melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer .... Reuters

3/5 Opdivo Approval Gives BMS Lead in PD-1 Race
The PD-1 wave? Report says it's a $33B tsunami, with BMS surfing for first place .... The PD-1/PD-L1 market in melanoma will amount to about $3 billion, with kidney, bladder, and head and neck cancers each worth $5 billion or less. Lung cancer is by far the biggest market for these immunotherapies, with $21 billion in potential sales by 2022 .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

3/5 How Your Prostate Cancer Will be Treated Depends on Where You Live
Treatment for prostate cancer varies by area of U.S .... A new study of Medicare and private insurance claims confirms that treatment trends for localized prostate cancer differ by U.S. region, by state and even from county to county .... Reuters

3/5 'Free' Medical Records Software Pays for Itself with Pop-Up Alerts
The Next Marketing Frontier: Your Medical Records .... Medical-record software startup Practice Fusion Inc., which sells the alerts and displays them through its software, said that during a four-month study period ending in August, it observed a 73% increase in vaccinations—amounting to 25,000 additional treatments—compared with a control group. .... $$WSJ

3/5 Can't Get a Drug You Need? There's an App for That
FDA launches drug shortage app .... Users of the new app can look up a drug based on its generic name, active ingredient or therapeutic category. Consumers can also use the app to report a suspected drug shortage or supply problem to the FDA. .... Healio

3/5 Alzheimer's Patients Getting Heavy Doses of Psych Drugs Outside Nursing Homes Too
Psychiatric Drug Overuse Is Cited by Federal Study .... Investigators said officials also needed to focus on overuse of such drugs by people with dementia who live at home or in assisted living facilities .... NY Times

3/5 Bristol Lays A Wager on Prostate Cancer Therapy
BMS signs $975m deal with Bavarian Nordic .... Bristol-Myers Squibb has bought itself the chance of snapping up rights to Bavarian Nordic's experimental prostate cancer immunotherapy Prostvac .... Pharma Times

3/5 Anticholinergics Tied to Pneumonia
Common Class of Drugs May Be Linked to Pneumonia Risk .... Anticholinergic medications include those used for conditions such as allergies (for example, Benadryl), overactive bladder (including Ditropan), depression (for example, doxepin) and insomnia (Sominex, etc.) .... HealthDay News

3/5 Pharma Marketers: FDA is Reading Your Facebook
FDA Cracks Down on Facebook Marketing With Four New Letters to Companies .... FDA's letters provide evidence that the agency cares just as much about what a company says on its social media channels as on its website .... Regulatory Focus

3/5 Prospects for Farydak
Novartis' new myeloma med faces tough tussle with Pomalyst, Kyprolis .... In a trial of 193 relapsed multiple myeloma patients, the group treated with Farydak along with Velcade and dexamethasone lived for a median 10.6 months without their cancer progressing. That's compared with 5.8 months for those taking Velcade and dexamethasone alone .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

3/5 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Vanda's eczema drug fails mid-stage study
Reuters
Doctors, patients scramble ahead of high court Obamacare decision
Reuters
Head of U.S. National Cancer Institute to step down
Reuters
How Google's using big data and machine-learning to aid drug discovery
Venture Beat
Take The Adverse Childhood Experiences Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn't Mean
NPR


3/4
Fast Takes
Low blood pressure linked to hastens cognitive decline
Reuters
SEC warns pharma companies to be honest about FDA correspondence
Reuters


3/4
FDA Issues Crackdown On Testosterone Products
- Communiqué implies "Low T" is not a disease; gold rush over?
Testosterone Products: Drug Safety Communication … FDA Cautions About Using Testosterone Products for Low Testosterone Due to Aging; Requires Labeling Change to Inform of Possible Increased Risk of Heart Attack And Stroke … FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging. The benefits and safety of this use have not been established….[FDA]
FDA Orders Testosterone Label Limits, Heart Attack Warnings … study published in November 2013 suggested that testosterone replacement drugs boost the odds of a heart attack, stroke or dying by 29 percent ...

3/4
Early Data: Contrave (Bupropion/naltrexone) Diet Pill Cut Cardio Events,
CVD Death By Half
- Why did they release interim data?  Did they violate SEC regs?  Orexigen shares soar 45%
Orexigen Weight-Loss Pill Shows Surprise Heart-Safety Benefit … cut their risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from heart disease by almost half … based on relatively few events, so as …[The Street]
Orexigen Released Interim Data Without Approval Of Trial Leaders … Among the biggest concerns: people in the trial now have a strong incentive to drop out of the trial and take Contrave. If they believe the study drug is working why would they continue to possibly take a placebo? …[Forbes]

3/4
Barrons: 5 New Drugs for 2015 With Blockbuster Potential
New Drugs for 2015 From Novartis, Pfizer, Amgen, and More  …  due to launch in the U.S. that advance the treatment of serious illness, have a high probability of regulatory approval in 2015, and have the potential to deliver annual sales of more than $1 billion …[Barrons]

3/4
MannKind Downgraded On Weak Inhaled Insulin Uptake, Discounts
MannKind Rating, Price Target Are Cut by Goldman on Slow Afrezza Launch  … slow commercial launch of the inhaled insulin Afrezza coupled with growing downward pricing pressure for all diabetes products. …[The Street]

3/4
"The Diabetes Company" How Novo Marketing Goes Beyond The Pill
Novo Nordisk talks up its broader strategy for diabetes marketing … disease education? A lot of times the senior management didn't necessarily believe in that … how we can be of value to society and how we can be of value to our customers is to help them manage their populations. When we go to payers and tell them, listen we have a great …[Mobi Health News]

3/4
FDA: Thou Shall Not Share Insulin, GLP1 Pens
FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label warnings to prohibit sharing of multi-dose diabetes pen devices among patients … thousands of patients possibly exposed to infections that are transmitted through blood from the sharing of multi-dose pen devices for insulin and other injectable diabetes medicines … "For single patient use only" warning will appear on the labels affixed to the pens and on the pen cartons …[FDA]

3/4
Lawmakers Pressure Amphastar Over Price Hikes for its Heroin Antidote
Lawmakers Pressure Amphastar Over Price Hikes for its Heroin Antidote … rice charged by Amphastar has reportedly risen 50% or more and, in some cases, has nearly doubled. … wholesale price went from nearly $14.00 a vial in 2013 before climbing to $28.50 last fall …[Pharmalot]

3/3
Fast Takes
Amgen results for Kyprolis could sideline Velcade
MMM
Endo to Sell Men's Health Businesses to Boston Scientific
WSJ
A New Gardasil Vaccine Targets More HPV Strains

3/3
Prescribers: Genentech Distribution Scheme
Causes Increased Price, Shortage
Genentech Distribution Shift for Cancer Meds Delays Patient Care: Survey … resulting in higher costs, reduced access to the medications and delays in treating patients. And the institutions are hoping the results will prompt the drug maker, which says it's unaware of such problems, to revert to its earlier distribution program …[Pharmalot]

3/3
Boehringer Submits Pradaxa Antidote To FDA, Requests 6-Month Review
- "Idarucizumab"
BI Requesting Accelerated Approval for Pradaxa Reversal Agent … requesting accelerated approval for the use of idarucizumab, a humanized antibody fragment to reverse the anticoagulant effect of Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate).  Pre-clinical studies indicate idarucizumab binds specifically to and inhibits dabigatran …[MPR]
See Also: Idarucizumab press release

3/3
Bayer Punished For Retaliating Against Whistle Blower
- Rep fired for tattling on Medicaid fraud doc costs Bayer big bucks; Bayer claimed it was for credit card
HR and Employment Law News … jury awarded Townsend $321,000 in back pay. That amount was doubled to $642,000 under the penalty provisions of the FCA. The jury also awarded Townsend $568,000 for emotional distress …[HR.BLR]

3/3
Medical Letter Reviews Inhaled Insulin
MannKind's Afrezza Earns Lackluster Review from Independent Drug Arbiter … modestly effective" at reducing blood glucose and its long-term safety is unknown, according to a review of the inhaled insulin published this week by The Medical Letter,

3/3
Ranbaxy Loses Bid For Generic Nexium Valcyte Exclusivity
- FDA flip flops on ruling granting Ranbaxy 6-month monopoly
U.S. judge denies Ranbaxy bid to reinstate approvals for Valcyte, Nexium copies … FDA had said its earlier decision granting the approvals was "in error" as Ranbaxy's plants at the time were not compliant with the U.S. regulator's manufacturing quality standards. … Launching the first generic copies of the drugs would have given Ranbaxy six months of exclusivity … [Reuters]

3/3
Novartis' Answer To Eylea Shows Promising Data
- As good as Eyelea, lasts longer
Novartis treatment for vision loss meets goals in study … could potentially pave the way for less frequent dosing compared to a drug already on the market … started a late-stage Phase III trial of the drug …[Reuters]

3/2
Fast Takes
U.S. judge denies Ranbaxy bid to reinstate approvals for Valcyte, Nexium copies
Reuters
Actavis 3-Year IUD birth control device wins FDA approval
Reuters
Novartis treatment for vision loss meets goals in study
Reuters
Afrezza Will Succeed But Initial Sales Likely To Disappoint
Forbes

3/2
Lantus Replacement Toujeo Approved But American Label Disappoints
- No verbiage regarding reduced hypogylcemia IN USA; differentiation questioned
- EU label has verbiage regarding less hypoglycemia
Sanofi's diabetes drug Toujeo gets U.S. approval, label disappoints … lower rates of hypoglycemia, a potentially dangerous drop in blood sugar, seen in clinical trials comparing Toujeo to Lantus, was not mentioned … Toujeo label is probably going to be viewed as more undifferentiated than investors have been expecting …[Reuters]
Sanofi diabetes drug Toujeo wins EU green light, pricing in focus … EMA highlighted the benefits of Toujeo in reducing the risk of hypoglycaemia … In Type 2 diabetes patients, the incidence of confirmed hypoglycaemia was lower with Toujeo, in particular at night, as compared to insulin glargine 100 U/ml (Lantus), …[Reuters]
See Also: Toujeo (insulin glargine) Package Insert

3/2
Lilly Plans EU Launch Of Biosimilar Lantus
Lilly to introduce Lantus copy in Europe after patent expires … start commercializing a cheaper version of Sanofi's Lantus insulin for diabetes in Europe at some point  … Sanofi has sued Lilly to block the biosimilar version …[Indy Star]

3/2
AZN Plans Stand-Alone Antibiotic Organization
AstraZeneca to carve out antibiotic R&D into separate firm … Antibiotics have fallen out of favour in the past decade among many Big Pharma companies, because of their typically low margins …  recently some companies have started coming back to the space, given the demand for novel medicines that can fight drug-resistant superbugs …[AP]

3/2 Scientists Worry That Much Hyped CHF Wonder Drug May Have Alzheimer Link
Novartis Amends Heart-Drug Trial … But some doctors question whether LCZ696's ability to inhibit an enzyme that fights sticky plaques in the brain could lead the drug to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's, if taken on a long-term basis … [WSJ]

3/2
Gardasil Gets Boost From CDC
Merck & Co., Inc. Gardasil 9 Gets Green Signal From CDC Committee … announced Thursday that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has included its Gardasil 9 vaccine in the list of recommended HPV vaccines….[ BidnessETC]

3/2
That Flushing Sound: San Francisco Moves Closer to a Take-Back Program
That Flushing Sound: San Francisco Moves Closer to a Take-Back Program … Last month, however, three industry trade groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision  … "we are concerned that this program not only off-loads costs of a local program to out-of-state consumers and businesses, but there is no evidence that it will address the issue of diversion or environmental concerns raised by the program's proponents….[Pharmalot]

3/2
Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 pct of HIV coinfected patients-study
Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 pct of HIV coinfected patients-study …  Ninety-seven percent of hepatitis C patients also infected with HIV were cured of the liver-destroying virus after 12 weeks of treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir and Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi …[Reuters]


2/27 Sovaldi Profits Are All Booked Overseas; Gilead Pays About 5% Foreign Taxes
Gilead Avoids Billions in U.S. Tax on Its $1,000-a-Pill Drug .... The company reported foreign income before taxes of $8.2 billion for 2014, earning more in non-U.S. profits than it recorded in non-U.S. sales .... Bloomberg

2/27 Daclatasvir Combines with Sovaldi to Clear Coinfected in 12 Weeks
Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 pct of HIV coinfected patients .... Ninety-seven percent of hepatitis C patients also infected with HIV were cured of the liver-destroying virus after 12 weeks of treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir and Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi .... Reuters

2/27 Upcoming HBO Special Report on Cancer Reveals Basis for Optimism
What You Should Know Before Watching Vice's Special About Curing Cancer .... There are reasons to be wildly optimistic about the state of cancer research .... Reuters

2/27 Heart Failure Drug Needs to Answer Alzheimer's Fears
Novartis Amends Heart-Drug Trial .... Some doctors question whether LCZ696's ability to inhibit an enzyme that fights sticky plaques in the brain could lead the drug to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's, if taken on a long-term basis .... $$WSJ

2/27 Declining Sales Brought to CEO's Attention in a Forceful Way
Glaxo Chief Witty's Compensation Cut 46% as Profit Declined .... The pay cut reflects Witty's struggle to halt a slide in U.S. market share for Advair, its top-selling asthma medication, and failure to win over doctors and insurers for products designed to replace it .... Bloomberg

2/27 After Prolonged Efforts, AZN Launches Spinoff
AstraZeneca spinning out its anti-infectives R&D unit in Waltham .... The new company, which hasn't been named yet, will take over the antibiotic pipeline, including the novel gyrase inhibitor AZD0914, currently in Phase II for gonorrhea.... AstraZeneca expects that some of the current employees in the group will run it .... Fierce Biotech

2/27 Drug Coverage at a Breaking Point
The Drug Pipeline Flows Again .... In cancer, "it wasn't that long ago" that the FDA was being asked to approve drugs that shrank tumors in only 10 percent to 15 percent of patients, the FDA's Jenkins says. "Now we are seeing drugs with a 50 to 60 to 70 percent response rate." .... Bloomberg

2/27 Selling to Hospitals and Health Networks
Drugmaker shifts sales model to keep pace with formulary decision making .... Daiichi Sankyo is one of several pharmaceutical companies to employ key account managers who target sales pitches to executives at large hospital systems and independent delivery networks rather than to individual prescribers .... MM&M

2/27 42% of FDA Funding Comes From User Fees
Legislators Want to Exempt Much of FDA's Funding from Future Budget Cuts .... The bill, the FDA Safety Over Sequestration (FDA SOS) Act would specifically exempt FDA's user fees from the effects of future budget sequestration .... Regulatory Focus

2/27 "For single patient use only" Label to Appear on Diabetes Pens
FDA requires warning to prohibit sharing of multi-dose diabetes pens .... The FDA is requiring additional label warnings on multi-dose diabetes pen devices prohibiting the sharing of the injectable medicines to reduce the risk of infections being spread .... Healio

2/27 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Why health centers are urging patients out of high-deductible plans
Advisory Board
Major insurers are finally revealing one of health-care's greatest mysteries
Washington Post Wonkblog
PCORI explains how it will release comparative-effectiveness findings
MM&M
Half a million C. diff infections and 15,000 deaths in 1 year
Medical News Today
Boehringer puts BACE inhibitor trial on hold
Pharma Times


2/26 WebMD Sends Your Health Searches to 34 Other Companies
Looking Up Symptoms Online? These Companies Are Tracking You .... An astonishing number of the pages we visit to learn about private health concerns—confidentially, we assume—are tracking our queries, sending the sensitive data to third party corporations, even shipping the information directly to the same brokers who monitor our credit scores .... Vice

2/26 Avycaz Approved
Actavis' superbug antibiotic gets U.S. approval .... The drug can be used in combination with generic antibiotic metronidazole to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections. As a standalone medication, it is used to treat urinary tract infections .... Reuters

2/26 FDA OKs Toujeo
Sanofi Gains U.S. Approval for Successor to Top-Selling Lantus .... Studies have shown that patients taking Toujeo have fewer drops in blood sugar while asleep than those taking Lantus, an advantage that Paris-based Sanofi is banking on to convince patients and doctors to switch to the new drug .... Bloomberg

2/26 Imbruvica's Launch Trajectory Rivals Avastin's
Cancer Drug Once Bought for $7 Million May Now Fetch $18 Billion .... Imbruvica is an easy-to-use pill that costs around $100,000 a year, avoids certain serious side effects of chemotherapy, and patients can stay on it for long periods of time .... Bloomberg

2/26 GSK's 'Go Heavy' Strategy
GSK to be No. 1 vaccine producer when it completes $25B asset swap with Novartis next week .... As pricing pressures, patent expirations and fewer blockbuster new drugs affect their bottom lines, drug companies have looked to focus more closely on certain therapeutic areas. That's exactly what happened in this asset swap .... Triangle Business Journal

2/26 No 'Reimportation' for Maine
Federal Judge Overturns Maine Prescription Drug Law .... Judge Nancy Torresen of the U.S. District Court, Portland, Maine,, ruled that the law is pre-empted, or superseded, by federal legislation. This means the state didn't have the right to enact such a measure because the federal government has jurisdiction over importation .... WSJ

2/26 Valeant Plans to Cut $500 Million in Costs from Salix
Valeant to keep specialty Salix reps, but it's eyeing primary care for potential cuts .... The FDA is expected to hand down a decision on a new indication for the North Carolina drugmaker's lead product, Xifaxan, in irritable bowel syndrome associated with diarrhea, and ... the success of the Valeant buyout depends on the rollout in that market. .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

2/26 'Doctor-Shopping' Seems to Apply to Antibiotics Also
Competition among physicians and retail clinics drive up antibiotic prescribing rate .... The presence of retail medical clinics, like those found in chain drug and "super" stores, and of urgent care centers increases the prescribing rate, but the effect was different in wealthy versus poor areas .... Johns Hopkins Medicine

2/26 Other Obesity Drugs Have Peaked; Contrave Gaining Ground
Obesity Drugs: Orexigen Gains Market Share at Expense of Arena, Vivus .... Here's a chart depicting the most current obesity drug market share

.... The Street/Adam Feuerstein

2/26 alli Returns to the Shelves
Nonprescription diet pill alli back in stores after recall .... The British drugmaker voluntary recalled the product last March after finding some packages in stores didn't contain real alli, indicating tampering after shipment .... Medical Express

2/26 'Basket Studies' Target Mutations
A Faster Way to Try Many Drugs on Many Cancers .... The studies of this new method, called basket studies because they lump together different kinds of cancer, are revolutionary, much smaller than the usual studies, and without control groups of patients who for comparison’s sake receive standard treatment .... Johns Hopkins Medicine

2/26 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
How Your Smartphone Will Radically Change Your Health Care
Huffington Post/Eric J. Topol, MD
Daily tasks predict hospitalization, death for heart failure patients
Reuters
Sunovion begins late-stage trials of COPD drug to rival Spiriva
Boston Business Journal
FDA to review Teva's abuse deterrent opioid
Pharma Times
10X Genomics Unwraps Its 'Toaster Oven' For Better DNA Sequencing
Forbes/Luke Timmerman


2/25 Ibrance Off to Strong Start
Can Pfizer's new breast cancer med really cruise to $4B and beyond? .... Some physicians say the solid FDA backing, plus impressive progression-free survival stats--20 months, versus about 10 for the current standard of care--are enough to persuade them to pick up Ibrance immediately .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

2/25 $280 Per Year Not Enough to Change Behavior
Cash Payments Fail to Improve H.I.V. Drug Adherence .... Paying patients in the Bronx and in Washington — where infection rates are high among poor blacks and Hispanics — up to $280 a year to take their pills daily improved overall adherence rates very little .... NY Times

2/25 160 Cases of Meningitis B a Year; Pfizer Believes It Has Vaccine
Pfizer Meningitis B Vaccine Meets Safety, Tolerability Goals in Studies .... Meningitis, a life-threatening bacterial disease spread by respiratory secretions, affects about 500 mostly young Americans a year; vaccines already exist for the four other known strains, A, C, Y and W .... WSJ

2/25 Isentress, Sold for $1350/Month in U.S., Made Available Cheaply Overseas
Merck grants free license for pediatric HIV drug .... The deal lets any generic or brand name drug manufacturer make low-cost pediatric versions of Merck's raltegravir for sale in 92 low- and middle-income countries .... AP/Yahoo

2/25 Hep C Price Battle Largely Over, But What Battles Lie Ahead?
Formulary Fireworks .... "The PBMs are going to press us on price right up to the point where [a formulary decision] becomes a PR disaster for them. Nobody will come out of this looking good." (quote from unnamed pharma exec) .... MM&M

2/25 Long-Time Congressional Pharma Critic Ends Up a Lobbyist
Ex-Rep. Henry Waxman lands on K St. .... While Waxman is required by ethics laws not to lobby his colleagues for at least one year, he told Politico that he might consider advocacy once his "cooling off" period expires. .... The Hill

2/25 7% CAGR for Oncology Through This Decade
Global cancer drug market to grow to $111 billion by 2020 .... Researchers expect targeted therapies and immunotherapies to surge by "10% in market share collectively by 2020." .... MM&M

2/25 Depression Leads to Violence — But Take with a Grain of Salt (Scandinavian Observational Study)
Clinically depressed three times more likely to commit violent crime .... When they adjusted for other factors such as previous history of violence, self-harm, psychosis and substance misuse -- all of which increase the risk of violence -- they found a smaller but still increased risk of violent crime among depressed people .... Reuters

2/25 Scientists Get the Axe at Pfizer
Pfizer is once again cutting back R&D staff in reorganization .... The cutbacks at Pfizer follow one of the biggest restructurings in the industry, as the pharma giant carved billions of dollars out of its research budget .... Reuters

2/25 Shire Preparing the Battlefield
Shire, Maker of Binge-Eating Drug Vyvanse, First Marketed the Disease .... The marketing strategy for Vyvanse, like that of Adderall, sheds light on how pharmaceutical companies seek to influence the diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition — in an effort to make billions of dollars in sales — even in the face of concerns about potential dangers of a drug .... NY Times

2/25 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
State again faults Kaiser Permanente for mental health treatment delays
LA Times
Revel Casino Buyer to Mix Anti-Aging Agenda With Poker
Bloomberg
Anthem says hack may affect more than 8.8 million other BCBS members
Reuters
Centralized Reminder System Could Increase Vaccination Rates
HealthDay News
Watchdog group seeks US ban of antifungal tablets
Yahoo

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