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Pharmaceutical News Harvest (TM) for Friday April 24rd

4/24 Patent Attacks on Thalomid and Gattex
Bass Expands Drug Patent Fight as Celgene, Shire Make Five .... In less than three months, Bass's Coalition for Affordable Drugs has filed petitions to invalidate patents on six different drugs, including two on April 23, owned by Shire Plc and Celgene .... Bloomberg

4/24 New Combo from Gilead Faster Than Harvoni
Gilead's Hepatitis C Combo Cuts Cure to Six Weeks, Fails at Four .... Gilead's experimental hepatitis C combination cured 93 percent of previously untreated patients after six weeks of therapy, potentially shortening treatment times compared to the drugmaker's current therapy .... Bloomberg

4/24 CEO Promises Drastic Cuts at Abbvie if Humira Sales Not Replaced
Doomsday Plan for AbbVie Means Preserving Profits at All Costs .... Gilead's experimental hepatitis C combination cured 93 percent of previously untreated patients after six weeks of therapy, potentially shortening treatment times compared to the drugmaker's current therapy .... Bloomberg

4/24 Immuno-oncology Partnership
AstraZeneca, Juno latest to collaborate on immuno-oncology drugs .... MedImmune and Juno will test a combination of their drugs as a potential treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma — a type of lymph node cancer .... Reuters

4/24 Lilly Sales Fall 1% on Cymbalta, Evista Expirations But Profits Up
Eli Lilly Earnings Beat Estimates on New Drugs and Higher Prices .... Lilly aims to get traction with new medications such as Cyramza and diabetes treatments Trulicity and Jardiance after a bad year in 2014 .... Bloomberg

4/24 New Muscular Dystrophy Drug to File by Mid 2016
Santhera -- A Duchenne Drug With Positive Study Results That Few Know About .... Patients treated with idebenone reported a peak expiratory flow as percentage predicted decline of 2.57% after one year compared with an 8.84% decline in placebo patients .... The Street/Adam Feuerstein

4/24 Which Five Companies Do the Most in Social?
Pharma's getting savvier about social, with Boehringer, Bayer leading the pack .... Drugmakers have 1.3 million Facebook followers.... The average number of pharma tweets per week has gone up by 530% since 2013. The number of Twitter followers has tripled, to 790,000 .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

4/24 MS Patients Eager to Share Activity Data with Pharma
FitBit trackers delivered in Biogen's MS movement study .... Fewer than half of the participants (47%) had ever tracked their activity levels, but after the study, 89% said activity tracking is important for health management. One of the unexpected findings was that some patients made lifestyle changes as a result of what they learned .... Fierce Pharma Marketing

4/24 Novartis Quarter Saved by Deals; Sales Down 7%
Divestment Gains Boost Net Earnings at Drug Company Novartis .... Sales leaders included multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, up 26 percent in constant currencies, and cancer drug Afinitor, up 18 percent. The company has high hopes for Cosentyx, a treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis .... NY Times

4/24 Friday Funnies
Pharmaceutical Rep Assures Doctor He Personally Tries Every Drug He Promotes .... Saying he could vouch for the quality of every one of his company's products, Eli Lilly pharmaceutical sales representative Geoffrey Klein reportedly assured a local primary care physician Thursday that he personally tries every single drug he promotes .... The Onion

4/24 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
U.S. FDA warns five companies over BMPEA stimulant in supplements
Reuters
FDA grants Pfizer lung-cancer drug Breakthrough Designation
MM&M
Gilead to Use a Give-Away Program in Georgia for Reducing Hepatitis C
Pharmalot
Drug Companies Pin Hopes On TrialReach To Enroll Patients In Clinical Trials Faster
Forbes
An end to cancer pain? Researcher finds the 'pain trigger'
Medical Express

4/23 Fast Takes
Mylan launches generic Harvoni In India
Mylan Press Release
Reckitt Recalls 1.5 Million Mucinex Cold Bottles for Labels
Bloomberg
More than 26,000 have been infected with Ebola: WHO
AP
Another Large Study says no MMR, Autism Link
JAMAA. 2015;313(15):1534-1540

4/23 Saxenda (Liraglutide) -  Novo Launches Slimming Injection
- $1,068 per month, insurance coverage iffy at this point
- Not indicated to cure blood pressure or diabetes but it may help control these conditions
Novo launches Saxenda in US, sees more launches in 2015 … plans to use 500 of its 3,000-strong U.S. sales force to promote Saxenda, but has warned a ramp-up of sales would be slow…. price was as expected because it has the same active ingredient as Novo's Victoza - a diabetes drug used to treat obesity directly….[Reuters]
Novo Nordisk announces Saxenda® (liraglutide) is now commercially available in the US …  indicated in the United States as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) or who are overweight (BMI >27 kg/m2) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition …[Novo Press Release]
See Also: Prescribing Information | Medication Guide
Editor's Comment: You start at 0.6mg per day and work your way up to 3.0 mg after 5 weeks.  Saxenda is launching with a $200 coupon  and a 16-week patient support program called SaxendaCare.

4/23
FDA Homeopathy Crackdown Seems Inevitable
Pharma Critic Skewers Homeopathy At FDA Hearing … Yesterday, the FDA completed a two-day hearing … agency appears poised to address the obsolete codification of homeopathy in the 1930s to rein in what many call the deceptive …[Forbes]

4/23
Teva Chairman Salary: $900K; Mylan Chairman Pay: $22.7 Mln; Culture Clash Inevitable
Mylan $23 Million Chairman Shows Looming Teva Culture Clash … Robert Coury made $22.7 million, including $1 million for his personal use of the drugmaker's two corporate jets …  Teva shareholders in 2012 balked at raising the chairman's salary to $900,000 a year …Though Teva is Israel's largest company and the world's biggest generics manufacturer, it has never lost the frugal, Kibbutz-inspired ethos … [Bloomberg]

4/23 Generic Drug Prices Keep Rising, but is a Slowdown Coming?
Generic Drug Prices Keep Rising, but is a Slowdown Coming? … generic drug prices have gone up and stayed high, but that the rate of increase is slowing … generic manufacturers, having fallen to near historic low levels of financial performance are cooperating to raise the prices of products whose characteristics - low sales due to either very low prices or very low volumes - accommodate price inflation … supply disruptions - which are sometimes blamed on strict FDA enforcement of quality-control problems - are not a big factor …[Pharmalot]

4/23
Remicade Biosimilar Price War Erupts In Europe
Bullied in Norway, Merck Sees Sales of Blockbuster Dive … discount has irked rivals. Hospira, which sells the same copycat version of Remicade under a different name, says the markdown will prove too massive to sustain. Hospira and Orion both license the drug from South Korea's Celltrion …[Bloomberg]

4/23
Roche Thinks Alzheimer Meds Have Good Chance Of Beating Disease
- Key is blocking production of amyloid toxic brain plaques
Roche more confident in beating Alzheimer's after Biogen data … better-than-expected clinical trial results for its experimental Alzheimer's medicine, aducanumab … Unlike heart disease and cancer, which have seen major strides in drug development, there is still no treatment that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's …[Reuters]


4/22 Teva Offers $40B for Mylan
Teva Bid for Mylan Sparks Worries of Rising Generic Drug Prices .... Some 10 percent of generic drugs doubled in price between July 2013 and June 2014, and half of all generic drugs rose in price .... Bloomberg

4/22 Doing the Math on Provigil: $200 Million for Pay-for-Delay Deals, $512 Million in Fines vs $4 Billion in Continued Brand Sales
Teva to Pay $512 Million to Settle Suit Over Delay of Sleep Disorder Drug .... In a common industry practice known as reverse payment settlements, Cephalon, which was acquired by Teva in 2011, paid generic manufacturers more than $200 million to agree not to begin selling their copycat versions until 2012 .... NY Times

4/22 Read Label Carefully to Spot Counterfeit Botox
FDA Warns of Bogus Botox .... The outer carton of the counterfeit version says the active ingredient is "Botulinum Toxin Type A" instead of "OnabotulinumtoxinA" .... HealthDay News

4/22 ALS Drug GM604 All Smoke and Mirrors
Maker of controversial ALS drug hasn't filed formal application for FDA approval .... But the real-world consequence is that, if Genervon has no application pending at the FDA, there is no imminent decision for the FDA to make about approving GM604 .... Washington Post

4/22 Lynparza (Ovarian Cancer Drug) Helps Men with Prostate Cancer
Hope for prostate cancer patients with drug meant for women .... Of a group of 49 men with treatment-resistant, advanced prostate cancer, 16 patients (32.7%) showed a clinical response to olaparib. The drug halted cancer growth, lowered the number of circulating tumour cells in the bloodstream, and caused levels of the blood marker prostate specific antigen (PSA) to fall .... Telegraph

4/22 Amgen Q1 Revenue Up 11%; R&D Down 14%
Amgen earnings boosted by higher drug prices, lower R&D .... The company's sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel rose 13 percent to $1.17 billion, while sales of white blood cell booster Neulasta rose 4 percent to $1.13 billion — both because of price increases .... Reuters

4/22 Gilead Has Cash Now, Needs to Invest to Fill Coming Gap
Should Gilead Sciences buy Vertex Pharmaceuticals? One Pundit Says, 'Yes' .... Based on the premiums that recent biotech deals have fetched, Gilead will need to pay between $38 billion and $45 billion by his estimates to get a drug with $7 billion in revenue potential .... Pharmalot

4/22 Medscape Survey Finds Doc Incomes Up Slightly
Almost one-third of physicians participated in an ACO last year .... Orthopedists, urologists, plastic surgeons and dermatologists make the most money from non-patient care activities such as product sales and speaking engagements. Orthopedists bring in on average $29,000 a year from such non-patient care activities, while anesthesiologists, pediatricians and radiologists reported the lowest compensation ($8,000 or less) .... MM&M

4/22 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Why Testing Drugs on Our Dogs Is Good for Our Health
Wired
FDA Kicks off Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Process
Regulatory Focus
Psychiatrists With Ties to AstraZeneca Resign From Texas State Hospital
WSJ
Screening Tests For Breast Cancer Genes Just Got Cheaper
NPR
Reckitt Recalls 1.5 Million Mucinex Cold Bottles for Labels
Bloomberg


4/21 Lessons from the Ezetimibe Mess
How Marketing And Media Muddled The Truth About The Heart Drug Vytorin .... Merck and Schering-Plough failed at their job as a drug companies, not only because more, better-designed studies would have protected them from criticism, but because if they had done them the market for Zetia could have been astronomically big .... Forbes/Matthew Herper

4/21 Researchers Encouraged by Safety Results in Phase ".5" of Immuno-oncology Treatment
Novartis' new CAR-T hopeful looks safe in an early solid tumor study .... In interim results from a Phase I study on Novartis' therapy, the infusion was well tolerated, administered to 5 patients with advanced cancers without any major side effects .... Fierce Biotech

4/21 Fake and Poor Quality Malaria Drugs Linked to Deaths of 122,000 African Children
Why researchers say fake and low-quality drugs are a ‘global pandemic' .... Scientists examined nearly 17,000 samples of antibiotics, antimalarial and anti-tuberculosis drugs and found that as many as 41 percent failed to meet quality specifications .... Washington Post

4/21 Most Common Form of Cancer to Spike Higher
Breast cancers predicted to rise by 50 percent by 2030 .... Three trends: The increasing number of older women in the population as the Baby Boom generation ages; increased life expectancy that allows more women to develop breast cancer at some time in their lives; and a clear rise in the number of tumors receptive to the hormone estrogen .... Washington Post

4/21 Feds Reaffirm Mammogram Every Other Year for Women 50–74
Federal Panel Revisits Contested Recommendation On Mammograms .... For every 1,000 women screened, the USPSTF model finds that screening women in their 40s means an estimated one additional breast cancer death averted (from 8 to 7), but with 576 additional false positive tests (1,529 vs. 953), 58 unnecessary biopsies (204 vs. 146) and two additional overdiagnosed tumors (20 vs. 18) .... NPR

4/21 Ixekizumab Phase 3 Results
Lilly's psoriatic arthritis drug succeeds in late-stage study .... The study, which tested two doses of ixekizumab against a placebo for 24 weeks, showed that Lilly's drug was statistically superior, as demonstrated by the proportion of patients achieving an ACR 20 response .... Fox News

4/21 Genervon Tries the Public Outcry Route to Get Drug Approved
A Dispute Flares Over Data for a Nascent ALS Drug and an FDA Review .... Spurred by a steady stream of upbeat press releases from Genervon, patients and their families are trying to pressure the FDA to accelerate regulatory approval .... WSJ/Pharmalot

4/21 Seroquel Trial Fallout Tarnishes All
A Drug Trial's Frayed Promise .... A closer look at the Seroquel XR study shows just how complicated things can get when a clinical trial involves psychiatric disorders and has its roots in intersecting and sometimes competing interests: a drug company looking to hold onto sales of a best-selling drug, a prominent academic with strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry and a university under fire for failing to protect human study subjects .... NY Times

4/21 Simple Test Opens Door to New Keytruda Indication for Lung Cancer
Test May Show Merck Melanoma Drug's Success in Lung Cancer .... Close to half of the patients with high levels of the PD-L1 protein experienced significant tumor shrinkage, while they shrank in just 17 percent of the patients with low levels of the protein and 11 percent of those with hardly any of the protein .... Bloomberg

4/21 Teaching Skills to Fend Off Depression About as Good as Pills
Mindfulness therapy as good as medication for chronic depression .... After two years, relapse rates were similar in both groups -- at 44 percent in the therapy group versus 47 percent in the anti-depressant drug group .... Reuters

4/21 More Jobs Gone at Allergan
Allergan to cut loose 577 more workers in Irvine .... By November, Allergan had agreed to a $66 billion bid from Actavis, and executives there were talking about $1.8 billion in savings, most of it within the first year. And that would be on top of Allergan's cost cuts. .... Fierce Pharma

4/21 Internet Drug News Fast Takes:
Indiana governor extends needle program to fight HIV
Reuters
Oncolytics' Reolysin Gets One More Orphan Drug Status
Zacks
New data backs 'pulsatile' statin dosing
Pharma Times
Conflict-of-interest rules spur $23M investment
MM&M
Truven names top 15 health systems in America
Healthcare Finance

4/20 She's A Drug Rep For Novo; She's The 1st Woman NFL Ref; She's Both!
-
Sell them drugs; make them calls; you go girl!
Sarah Thomas much more than first female NFL official … she certainly never let the fact that she was making history as a side job interfere with her everyday life. … Sarah Thomas, the recently hired NFL official who became the first full-time female official in NFL history earlier this month …[Today's Pigskin]

4/20 She's A Drug Rep For Novo; She's The 1st Woman NFL Ref; She's Both!
-
Sell them drugs; make them calls; you go girl!
Sarah Thomas much more than first female NFL official … she certainly never let the fact that she was making history as a side job interfere with her everyday life. … Sarah Thomas, the recently hired NFL official who became the first full-time female official in NFL history earlier this month …[Today's Pigskin]

4/20
Fast Takes
Merck Melanoma Drug Keytruda shrinks lung cancer tumors, FDA approval sought
Reuters
Otsuka Struggles to Prevent the FDA From Approving Generic Abilify
Pharmalot
AstraZeneca lung cancer drug delays disease by more than a year
Reuters
Having Both Depression And Type 2 Diabetes Increases Dementia Risk
Huff Post

4/20
Pfizer Wins First 'Zoloft Caused Hole In Heart' Birth Defect Trial
- Jury rejects argument, no $2.7 Mln payday
Pfizer Wins First Trial Over Zoloft Birth-Defect Claims … family's lawyers argued that before Pfizer put the drug on U.S. market in 1991, company researchers noted in Zoloft's "Core Data Sheet" that women who weren't on birth control shouldn't take Zoloft because of the risks of defects …[Bloomberg]
Related: Pfizer Jury Told Zoloft Risks Known But Hidden From Patients …[Bloomberg]

4/20
Rumor Mill Churns: Teva Gets Serious Regarding Looking To Take Over Mylan
Teva Is Exploring Mylan Bid to Create Generic-Drug Giant … Mylan this month made an unsolicited $28.9 billion bid for Perrigo Co., which many see as a trigger for Teva to act before Mylan becomes an even larger target … approached advisers about the potential bid and financing …[Bloomberg]
Related: Mylan skeptical of rumored Teva bid; hasn't received offer …[AP]
Related: Mylan to Teva: Thanks but no thanks, we'll stay independent (Video) …[Pittsburgh Business Times]
Editor's Note: Teva is an Israeli company, Mylan is incorporated in the Netherlands.

4/20
Opiates: Injection-Proof Pill? 80% Take Them By Mouth Anyway:
Supposedly Abuse-Proof Pills Won't Stop Opioid Overdose Deaths … So is this new technology enough? Probably not … most patients take the pills by mouth, and that many who overdose initially got the medicines from their doctors, not from the black market …[Forbes]

4/20
Is This Pfizer's Next Mega-Blockbuster Drug?
Is This Pfizer's Next Mega-Blockbuster Drug? … In February, the FDA delivered Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) some welcome news when it gave the company the go-ahead to begin marketing Ibrance as a front line therapy alongside the hormone therapy Femara for a specific type of metastatic breast cancer … 75% of all breast cancers are ER+, meaning they grow in response to the hormone estrogen …[Investopedia]


4/17
FDA approves AB Rated Generic Copaxone 20mg
Generic Version of Copaxone, Multiple Sclerosis Drug, Is Approved …  two-thirds of patients using Copaxone have already switched to the new version, which has patent protection that lasts for many more years. … 20 mg generic version of the blockbuster drug could be labeled "substitutable," meaning prescriptions for Copaxone could be automatically switched to the generic … [NY Times

4/17
Fast Takes
Amgen motion to delay Neupogen biosimilar denied
MMM
Teva may face disgorgement in Provigil (Modafinil) pay for delay
Reuters
Walgreen, Others Sue Over Alleged Aggrenox Pay-For-Delay
Law360
Merck Chairman and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier Becomes PhRMA Board Chairman
PhRMA

4/17
FDA Approves Generic Copaxone, but When Will it Become Available?
- Lawsuits may delqay launch of generic version of $72K per year treatment for MS
FDA Approves Generic Copaxone, but When Will it Become Available? … patent lawsuit is ongoing. A federal appeals court is reviewing whether a key Teva patent, which expires in September, is valid. If the patent is upheld, Sandoz would have to decide whether to risk another lawsuit - and potentially substantial damages - by selling a generic before September …[Pharmalot]

4/17
Proton Pump Inhibitors Increased Relative Risk Of Kidney Failure by 200%
Common heartburn drugs linked to kidney failure in the elderly … patients taking proton pump inhibitors [such as Nexium] are two times more likely to be hospitalized with kidney failure … hospitalization rate of 13.49 per 1,000 persons per year …[AP]

4/17
Analysts Expect More Takeover In Generic Drug Sector
Teva, Actavis, Other Generic Drugmakers May Be on Acquisition Trail … trail of consolidation has left 11 publicly traded generics companies in its wake, versus 27 six years ago …  Teva controls over 12% of the generics market. Mylan has 8%, and Actavis has around 7%. … if Teva were to acquire Mylan, the buyer would gain pricing power as the largest generics company in the world … [The Street]

4/17
Analyst Greatly Reduces Sales Expectations For Afrezza ([Insulin Human] Inhalation Powder)
- Predicted $46 Mln this tear, doubtful it will break $5 Mln
What's Afrezza's Ultimate Potential For MannKind? … lowered his Afrezza sales forecasts for 2015 to $5 million (from $46 million), for 2016 to $118 million (from $150 million), and for 2019 to $539 million (from $845 million) peak sales are now forecasted in the $2 billion to $3 billion range versus $4 billion  …[Benzinga]

4/17
Forbes: Media May Have Been Too Tough On Merck, Zetia
- Maybe it wasn't as bad  as they made it out to be
How Marketing And Media Muddled The Truth About The Heart Drug Vytorin … were patients harmed by aggressive news coverage? …  at least some heart patients - those who have had a heart attack and have chest pain - adding ezetimibe to an older cholesterol drug, Merck's Zocor, reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes …[Forbes]

4/17
Pain Drug Maker Gets DOJ Subpoena And Stock Takes Nosedive
- Did they push the marketing envelope too far regarding off label?
Pacira Receives Subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice … received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, requiring the production of a broad range of documents pertaining to marketing and promotional practices related to the product EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) …[Pacira Press Release]
The government is asking questions about this pharma company's painkiller and now the stock is getting crushed … [BusinessInsider]
Editor's Note: Exparel is indicated for use in bunionectomy hemorrhoidectomy only.  Last September Pacira got a warning letter regarding promotional items that may have suggested that Exparel is good to use on various other surgical procedures.

4/16
FDA Approves Amgen CHF Med Corlanor (ivabradine)
- Slows heart rate at sinoi-atrial node without blocking beta receptors
FDA approves Corlanor to treat heart failure …  indicated for patients who have symptoms of heart failure that are stable, a normal heartbeat with a resting heart rate of at least 70 beats per minute and are also taking beta blockers at the highest dose they can tolerate …[ FDA]
Editor's Note: According to the NY Times, a month supply of Corlanor will cost $375.
See Also: Amgen Press Release | Fact Sheet (MOA, Dose, Satudies) |
Related: SHIFT: Adding HR-slowing agent ivabradine to HF meds cuts mortality, hospitalization … reduction of heart rate contributes significantly to beneficial outcomes in patients with heart failure. It appears therefore likely that heart rate is not only a risk factor but may well be a mediator of the progression of heart failure … [TheMedscape Cardiology]

4/16
More Effective Than Plavix (prasugel) New Clot Preventer Gets FDA Panel Nod
FDA panel votes in favor of Medicines Co's blood clot preventer … panel voted 9-2 to support the approval of the once-rejected injection, cangrelor, for use in some patients undergoing angioplasty …  more effective in lowering the risk of death, heart attack, repeat procedures and stent thrombosis …[Reuters]

4/16
New Cystic Fibrosis Drug: $820/Day Per Patient For The Rest Of Their Life
- $300K per year; there are 8,500 cystic fibrosis patients in USA who could benefit from this drug
- Unlike Hep C pills, it's a treatment not a 12 week cure; how will PBM's react?
Will a New Vertex Drug for Cystic Fibrosis Become a Budget Buster? …  it may cost as much as $4.5 billion annually for the nation's health care system to pay for a combination medicine that includes Kalydeco - an existing and treatment sold by Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX +0.37% - along with another Vertex compound. …[Pharmalot]

4/16
Fast Takes
Acetaminophen may dull your emotions
CBS
Parents sue Botox maker after woman with cerebral palsy dies
AP
Walgreens Continues Pay Hike Freeze for Senior U.S. Executives
NY Times

4/16
So Simple An Idea; Why Didn't You Think Of This and Make Millions?
- Mail-order pharmacy dispenses meds in pre-sorted customized blister packs
Pharmacy Startup PillPack Could Change The Way America Takes Its Medicine … instead of sending all the Lipitor in one bottle and the Viread in another, pills are sorted together into clear plastic wrappers printed with the date and time at which they should be taken …[Forbes]
PillPack Launches Service in California to Reinvent the Retail Pharmacy Experience … PillPack, the pharmacy that simplifies medication management, has launched its service in California. Customers can now receive a personalized roll of pre-sorted medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins, delivered in individual packs organized with the date and time to take the pills, replacing error-prone pillboxes and manual solutions …[Company Press Release]
Editor's Note: He is either going to get bought out by Express or CVS or he will get squashed like a bug.  I hope  he gets bought out.

4/15
Feds to Probe Impact of Generic Drug Price Increases on Medicaid
- Want to know why generic drug prices are skyrocketing; generic drumakers respond with glib remarks
Feds to Probe Impact of Generic Drug Price Increases on Medicaid … prices for generics sold through retail pharmacies increased 37% from the previous quarter and that prices for certain generic drugs had risen over the past year by as much as 1,000% or more … asked 14 generic drug makers to provide pricing data, but the companies did not do so …[Pharmalot]

4/15
Onglyza, Nesina DDP4s To Get Warning Regarding CHF, Use In Renally Impaired
Related: Analysis of Post-Marketing Cardiac Safety Profiles of Nesina and Onglyza … Onglyza is the safest with the lowest score, while Nesina is the riskiest option with the highest score. Nesinas high score is driven by increased reporting of serious and costly AEs such as pancreatic carcinoma, gastric cancer and myocardial infarction. Januvia and Tradjenta have … [AdverseEvents.com]
FDA panel backs safety updates for AstraZeneca, Takeda drugs … panel found that neither Onglyza nor Nesina increased the risk of cardiovascular death, stroke or heart attack. But data showed a statistically significant increase in the risk of heart failure with Onglyza and an increased risk with Nesina that did not reach statistical significance …[Reuters]

4/15
$25 Mln - Merck CEO Frazier Was Joins Super Rich Exec Club
- Salary was paltry $1.5 Mln; stock options, incentive comp put him over the edge
Merck's Frazier joins top-paid pharma CEOs with a $25M package … beat out Pfizer's Ian Read and Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Alex Gorsky--even if he fell far short of Regeneron chief Len Schleifer [$42 Mln] …[Fierce Pharma]

4/15
US Drug Spending Goes Stratospheric; Specialty, Cancer Maed Blamed
- Hepatitis C, diabetes blamed, specialty drug blank check mentality a factor
Why Did Prescription Drug Spending Hit $374B in the US Last Year? Read This … spending on diabetes drugs jumped 30.5% to $32.2 billion last year, which was the second-highest therapeutic category in terms of spending growth after hepatitis … specialty medicines increased by $54 billion in the last five years …[Pharmalot]
Related: Growth In Drug Spend Is Hitting A 13-Year High. Note To Pharma: Innovation Pays. …[Forbes]

4/15
Actavis Unrepentant Regarding Namenda Forced Switch Scheme
- Lawsuit claims tactic's sneaky way to nuke competition
U.S. court weighs whether to let Actavis drop Alzheimer's drug … lawsuit claimed that by forcing patients to switch to the new version, Actavis hoped to stave off competition from drugmakers who are expected to release generic versions of Namenda IR in July …[Reuters]

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