And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. And once again, our agenda is rather modest. We plan to tidy up around the castle, indulge our shortest of short people and escort Mrs. Pharmalot to a compelling picture show. And what about you? Perhaps a ride in the country is in order. After all, the great outdoors is always beckoning. You could catch up on your reading. Or indulge in some holiday fantasies. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy and see you soon…
The World Health Organization says that a recent decision by Sanofi to stop making antivenom could lead to shortages for next year and place the lives of thousands of people in jeopardy, according to InPharma Technologist. The drug maker claimed that alternatives from companies in Brazil, India, and Mexico made its FAV-Afrique product unprofitable. The move is causing “dismay” among public health officials, the WHO says.
Antipsychotics are being widely prescribed to toddlers and infants, despite a lack of research, The New York Times reports. Almost 20,000 prescriptions for Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal and AstraZeneca’s Seroquel, among other such medications, were written in 2014 for children 2 years old and younger, an approximately 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before, the paper writes, citing data from IMS Health.
The United Kingdom’s cost-effectiveness watchdog recommended the new Novartis Entresto drug for heart failure in some patients, Reuters reports. The medicine has a list price of $1,809 a year in the UK, which is less than half the $4,560 price that Novartis charges in the United States. But the drug maker was disappointed that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will restrict usage only to patients whose hearts were particularly poor at pumping blood.
The UK’s NICE published draft guidelines for using AstraZeneca’s Lynparza, marking the first time a cancer drug targeting an inherited genetic defect will become available on the UK’s National Health Service in England and Wales, The Telegraph tells us. However, the drug maker has agreed to cover the cost for patients who remain on the drug for more than 15 months.
UnitedHealth Group chose the new Praluent injectable cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to be the preferred drug offered by its OptumRx pharmacy benefits manager, The Wall Street Journal writes.
Bayer is scrambling to load its drug development pipeline with cancer treatments in an effort to tap the burgeoning market for oncology treatments, Bloomberg News writes.
AstraZeneca is exploring the secretome, which is the world of proteins secreted by cells, as it hunts for new drugs and better “cell factories” for making medicines, Reuters tells us.
Sanofi is close to hiring a Morgan Stanley banker to head its mergers and acquisitions efforts, according to Bloomberg News.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is likely to expand the use of the Vytorin and Zetia cholesterol pills when it meets on Monday, CardioBrief predicts.
Novo Nordisk and IBM are teaming up to use the Watson cloud computing system for diabetes research, according to Pharma Times.