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Fast Takes
5 Cancers You're More Likely To Get As You Age
Woman surprised she's still alive after being diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer 21 years ago
Fox News
China Races to Find Its First Blockbuster Drug
CVS Health Accused in Suit of Overcharging for Generic Drugs
FDA Approves Bayer's Finacea® (azelaic acid) Foam, 15% for the Topical Treatment of the Inflammatory Papules and Pustules of Mild to Moderate Rosacea
Company Press Release

8/3 Teva Staffer Claims She Was Fired For Helping FEDS Investigate Fraud
Former Teva Employee Blames Firing on Helping Feds With Bribery Probe …  Keisha Hall, a one-time Teva certified fraud examiner and director of finance for Latin America, claims she was eventually fired for disagreeing with supervisors and helping U.S. officials with their investigation …  unauthorized payments to doctors in Chile and bribing doctors working for government hospitals, … anonymous whistleblower alleged she had inappropriately used Teva equipment - notably, a laptop - for personal use … [Pharmalot]

Afrezza Manufacturing Output To Triple Despite Poor Sales
- Mannkind slumps 13% after weak sales results reported & Goldman Sachs rates it a sell
Danbury manufacturer Mannkind triples production despite slow sales of Afrezza … Shares of Mannkind fell more than 13 percent this week after its marketing partner announced lackluster sales of Afrezza … Total sales for the drug since its release five months ago were reported at $3.3 million …[Danbury Newstimes]

Express To Block 20 More drugs In 2016; Readmits 10 That Had Been Blocked
Express Scripts excludes 20 more drugs from 2016 coverage … including two diabetes drugs and a weight loss drug …  added back about 10 drugs that had been cut from the list in 2015, saying it negotiated better prices with their manufacturers. It said that in 2016, the cuts will save its customers $1.3 billion, up from the $1.05 billion it estimates in savings for 2015. There are about 4,000 drugs on the market, it said …[Reuters]
See Also: Express Scripts 2016 Blocked Drugs List

Here's Why FDA Is So Skittish About Drug Names
This Is How Easy It Is to Pick Up the Wrong Prescription Drug … antidepressant Brintellix and the anti-clotting agent Brilinta have been confused at least 50 times … FDA also warns against drug names that are "overly fanciful" and could mislead about their effectiveness or risk profile. No one will be getting CancerCurify or HerpesGone. The guidelines for drugmakers choosing names runs 22 pages. About one-third of proposed names are rejected …[Bloomberg]

Even Though Gilead Pills Cure Hepatitis C, Gileaad Unlikely To Run Out Of Customers
Gilead Won't Run Out of Hep C Patients, or Dollars, Anytime Soon …  3 million living with hepatitis C in the U.S., many of whom haven't been diagnosed … So far this year, Gilead's drugs have treated about 130,000 in the U.S., and AbbVie's about 10,000 … That leaves more than 2 million, and possibly many more if the CDC's estimates are too low …[Bloomberg]

Pharmalot, #1 Ranked Pharma News Blog Leaves Wall Street Journal Stable For Greener Pastures
Pharmalot… PharmaWhat?… Until We Meet Again… … After a brief, but rewarding stay here at The Wall Street Journal, we are taking our act to a different theater … shifting our Pharmalot endeavors to Stat, a forthcoming website that will devote itself to tracking the fascinating ins and outs of life sciences. For those who are unaware, Stat will emerge out from under the umbrella of The Boston Globe. Further details will become available shortly. Meanwhile, you can reach us at and follow the usual @pharmalot Twitter handle …[WSJ]

Vivus Sucks Wind Again;  Thanks Qsymia!
Flailing Vivus halves hard-hit Qsymia sales force as revenue lags … sales force will  shrink from 100 reps to just 50--and Vivus will be "streamlining" the staff at its California headquarters, too. It's the second straight quarter its rep tally has dwindled; in March, Vivus reduced its army from 150 to 100 … [Fierce Pharma]

7/31 Watson is Watching
CVS And IBM's Watson Cloud Pursue Ways To Predict Patient Health .... CVS said IBM's Watson Health technology can work to predict a patient's declining health so doctors, pharmacists and other providers can use that information to be more proactive .... Forbes

7/31 "Data Exclusivity" for Biologics a Major Issue in Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
Patent Protection for Drugs Puts Pressure on U.S. in Trade Talks .... United States law protects data collected during the development of biologic medicines for 12 years.... Negotiators for the United States say they are obligated to defend American law, even though President Obama has been pushing to shorten the patent protection to seven years .... NY Times

7/31 Patients Happy with Afrezza, But Sales Lag
Sales of MannKind's inhaled insulin continue slow start .... Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical company that's selling Afrezza in a partnership agreement with MannKind, said it sold just $2.2 million of the drug in the quarter that ended June 30. That means that in its first five months, sales have reached just $3.3 million .... LA Times

7/31 No One Has a Good Patient Census, But Everyone Agrees MS Market Growing Quickly
How many multiple sclerosis patients are in the U.S.? No one knows. .... Estimates of the total size of the market in coming years range from $18 billion to $21 billion a year worldwide. The vast majority of that revenue is expected to come from the U.S., where prices are four to five times higher than in Europe .... Boston Business Journal

7/31 Drug Names Too Similar
Brilinta? Brintellix? FDA warns of drug name mix-ups .... The agency says it has received 50 reports of medication errors, including cases where doctors prescribed the wrong drug or pharmacies dispensed the wrong one .... AP/Yahoo

7/31 If you hear "the role of compliance is not to interfere with the business-related needs of the company," you'd better watch out
Former Teva Employee Blames Firing on Helping Feds With Bribery Probe .... Keisha Hall, a one-time Teva certified fraud examiner and director of finance for Latin America, claims she was eventually fired for disagreeing with supervisors and helping U.S. officials with their investigation .... Pharmalot

7/31 AstraZeneca 2Q Results
AstraZeneca Earnings Beat Estimates as New Drugs Take Hold .... Revenue from Brilinta was $144 million for the quarter, up 23 percent, while Bydureon, a diabetes medicine, recorded $140 million in sales, a 25 percent increase. Some older drugs did better than analysts expected, with cholesterol drug Crestor raking in $1.31 billion versus the average analyst prediction for $1.28 billion .... Bloomberg

7/31 "Discount Program" Called Rip-Off
CVS Health Accused in Suit of Overcharging for Generic Drugs .... CVS Health Corp. was accused in a lawsuit by pharmacy customers of intentionally overcharging for generic prescription drugs by submitting claims for payment to third parties at inflated prices .... Bloomberg

7/31 GLP-1 Receptor Agonists REMS Updated
FDA Modifies REMS for Tanzeum, Trulicity .... The modifications will be reflected in the REMS document and the following REMS appended materials: REMS Letter for Healthcare Providers, REMS Letter for Professional Societies, REMS Factsheet, and the REMS Webpage .... MPR

7/31 Deep Dive into Drug Price Trends
"Sharp" Rise in Rx Spending In 2014 Makes Headlines; Will "Subside Somewhat" In 2015 .... The overall trend is clear: with an 82% generic dispensing rate in 2014, CMS notes that there is very little room left for generic penetration to continue to moderate growth in brand spending. .... RPM Report/First Take

7/31 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Obese patients face long odds against returning to a healthy weight
CareFirst doubles cost savings by sharing rewards with U.S. doctors
Synergy Hits Mark on Second Trial, Eyes Approval For Constipation Drug
HIV flushed out by cancer drug
Prostate cancer can be categorized into five different types
Medical News Today

7/30 The Top Drug Launches Of All Time

Click on image or here for full story
.... The top drug launches of all time, compiled by pharma analysts at investment bank Evercore ISI and ranked by peak sales .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

7/30 90% of US Adults Exceed Sodium Intake Guidelines; Many Will be Rewarded with Hypertension
High sodium diet may predict high blood pressure to come .... At the start of the study, the participants were consuming an average of 4,200 milligrams of dietary sodium per day. Those who would go on to have high blood pressure were eating an average of 4,500 milligrams per day .... Reuters

7/30 Big PBM Starts Anti-PCSK9 Campaign
Express Scripts says costly new cholesterol drugs could 'wreak havoc' .... Glen Stettin, a senior Express Scripts executive, said an estimated 70 million Americans have high cholesterol but that fewer than 10 percent of them should qualify for Praluent .... Reuters

7/30 Coming Back After a Career-Destroying Tragedy
Doctor Whose Drug Killed Teen Returns as Gene Tech Booms Again .... Wilson said the technology is substantially better than it was 16 years ago and he is certain that safe, successful treatments will be found .... Bloomberg

7/30 LixiLan Combines Lantus and Lyxumia; Combo Beats Either Alone
Sanofi's LixiLan for Diabetes Meets Goal in Late-Stage Trial .... In a trial among 1,170 diabetes patients, LixiLan reduced blood glucose more than Lantus or Lyxumia on its own over three months .... Bloomberg

7/30 His Practice Failing, Doc Partners with Pagans to Deal Opioids
The Motorcycle Gang Behind Philly's Biggest Pill Mill .... How a Philadelphia doctor and a notoriously violent motorcycle gang joined forces to sell mass quantities of prescription pills. .... Daily Beast

7/30 Estimated 7% of All US Adults Have Depression; USPSTF Wants to Find Them All
Should all adults be screened for depression? USPSTF thinks so. .... The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a draft recommendation that primary care providers (PCPs) screen all adults for depression at standard clinic visits, whether or not a PCP is able to provide care or support for the condition. .... Advisory Board

7/30 GSK 2Q Report
Glaxo Earnings Beat Estimates on AIDS Drugs, Cost Reductions .... The company reported second-quarter earnings that declined less than analysts had estimated as AIDS medicines and efforts to reduce costs offset slumping revenue from Advair, its best-selling asthma drug .... Bloomberg
See also: Advair revenue down again, but GSK looks to next-gen for replacement revenue  Triangle Business Journal
See also: Glaxo Aims for Next Wave of Cancer Drugs After Missing First  Bloomberg

7/30 Neulasta Goes on TV with New Injector Technology
Last blast? New Amgen TV ad spotlights Neulasta delivery just months before patent expiration .... The new delivery method--in which patients wear Neulasta's On-Body Injector to deliver the drug the day after chemotherapy, negating a repeat visit and ensuring correct timing--is worth pushing as a differentiator .... Fierce PharmaMarketing

7/30 AbbVie, BMS, and Merck Soon Jumping Into Hep C Market
Eyeing big returns, drugmakers ready new hepatitis-C drug launches .... Gilead isn't the only drugmaker seeking new patient populations or attempting to bring newer, more advanced treatments to market. The FDA last week approved AbbVie's Technivie (ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir), to be used in combination with ribavirin to treat genotype-4 infections in patients without scarring and cirrhosis. .... MM&M

7/30 Novartis Sets Up a Skunk Works for Drugs in Development
Novartis Spinoff Shows Alternative to Big Drug Makers .... Novartis, Switzerland's $275 billion market-cap drug giant, will inject three drugs in development into a start-up called Mereo, run by former Nomura employees .... NY Times/DealBook

7/30 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Depomed rejects Horizon Pharma's latest bid
Serious Risks About Existing Drugs Aren't Given to Trial Participants
Eisai's Lenvima breakthrough therapy for new indication
Pharma Times
New Drug Lowers Levels of Triglycerides

7/29 Prescription Drug Spending Up 12.6% in 2015
By 2024, health spending will be nearly a fifth of the economy .... In 2013, prescription drug spending grew just 2.5 percent compared with the previous year, whereas in 2014, drugs spending shot up 12.6 percent. The effects of those drugs on 2015 spending are expected to be tempered by rebates offered by the pharmaceutical companies. Prescription drug spending growth is projected to increase 7.6 percent in 2015. .... Washington Post

7/29 Pfizer Firing on All Cylinders in 2nd Quarter
Pfizer Profit Beats Estimates as Cancer Drug Sales Increase .... The drug Ibrance, approved in February for use in advanced breast cancer, generated $140 million in sales, compared with the $95.3 million projected by analysts. Ibrance will be a $3.39 billion drug by 2018, according to estimates .... Bloomberg (autoplay video)

7/29 Oncology Market Overview
Therapeutic Focus: Oncology .... The oncology market, has reached $32 billion in US sales in the 12 months ending May 31, up 17.7% over the year-ago period, according to IMS Health. While Roche's Genentech has dominated the category for several years, competition might be just around the corner .... MM&M

7/29 Lipitor OTC Effort Ends; Patients Couldn't Self-Monitor
Pfizer Quits Over-the-Counter Lipitor Program After Trial Fails .... The trial looked at whether patients would check their cholesterol after starting the drug, and take the right medical action after getting the results. The tests found that they couldn't .... Bloomberg

7/29 Overview of Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Sales Breakdown, Pipeline, Outlook
Wakefulness Drug Xyrem Keeps Jazz Pharmaceuticals Up .... Xyrem's net sales in the first quarter grew 33% over the prior year to $212.7 million, accounting for 69% of the $309.3 million in total revenue, which was up 25% .... Investor's Business Daily

7/29 Strong Sales of Sovaldi/Harvoni Set New Record
Gilead Profit Tops Estimates as Hepatitis C Drug Sales Surge .... Sales of Sovaldi were $1.29 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $969 million. Sales of Harvoni, a combination of Sovaldi and another drug called ledipasvir, were $3.61 billion, compared with analysts' estimates of $3.5 billion .... Bloomberg

7/29 Biosimilars Bite Merck
Merck Earnings Hurt by Arthritis Drug Knockoffs .... Merck, which handles Remicade marketing in Europe, said the company's sales of the drug declined 25% to $455 million for the quarter, as European doctors prescribed copycat versions that cost up to 45% less than the branded drug .... $$WSJ

7/29 Pfizer Wallet Out, Looking for Promising Drugs
Pfizer Eyeing Deals of Any Size in Quest to Find New Blockbuster .... Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read said he's on the hunt for an acquisition to build up the company's collection of innovative drugs, five months after agreeing to a $17 billion deal to bolster the unit that sells older products .... Bloomberg

7/29 Reshape Medical Balloon OK'd
FDA approves stomach-filling balloon for weight loss .... In company trials, patients treated with the balloon lost about 7 percent of their total body weight over six months, compared with 3.3 percent weight loss in patients who didn't get the balloon. But six months after the devices' removal, patients in the balloon group regained more than two-thirds of the weight they had lost. .... Medical Xpress

7/29 PR Campaign Could Push FDA to Drug Approval
Will marketing make the difference in approval of Sprout's 'pink pill' for women? .... A less concrete--but potentially significant--influence this time around, though, has been the voice of a persuasive advocacy group called "Even the Score." It's a coalition of women and healthcare groups founded in 2014 after the second rejection of flibanserin .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

7/29 Gadolinium Accumulation from MRIs
FDA Examines Whether MRI Drugs Accumulate in Brain Tissue .... Normally, gadolinium is largely eliminated from the body via the kidneys following the drug's injection. As such, patients are screened to ensure they do not have kidney disease. But the recent studies found that gadolinium can remain in the brain even in patients whose kidneys function normally .... Pro Publica

7/29 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Americans report improved health, better healthcare
Centene considers snapping up Medicare Advantage plans from rivals
Healthcare improving for older Americans
Regeneron's George Yancopoulos Becomes Pharma's First Billionaire R&D Chief
Forbes/Matthew Herper

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