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Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. And it is especially busy in front of the Pharmalot campus, where a work crew is installing new water mains. This is all very exciting, but we are retreating to the quieter Pharmalot cafeteria to fire up our latest coffee kettle. A few cups of stimulation should do the trick. Meanwhile, here are your tidbits. Have a smashing day and drop us a line when something fascinating arises …

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel dealt Merck a setback by voting that the drug maker should not be allowed to claim that its Vytorin cholesterol-lowering treatments lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with coronary heart disease, Reuters reports. An 18,000-patient trial called Improve-It showed the drug did lower cardiovascular risks, but most panel members believed the benefit from the drug is too small.

Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are in exclusive talks over a $25 billion swap of the French drug maker’s Merial animal health business for the family-owned German company’s consumer health operation, Bloomberg News writes. A deal would give Sanofi the largest market share in the fragmented global consumer health-care business, while Boehringer Ingelheim would become the world’s second-largest supplier of animal-health products.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals reached a 20-year agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance in which the drug maker will offer discounts for a range of products, CNBC reports. For instance, Valeant plans to cut prices on its branded prescription-based skin and eye care products by 10 percent. The deal comes after Valeant has sustained withering criticism of its pricing practices.

Want to put a halt to tax inversions? The solution is simple enough — change the tax code, writes investor Carl Icahn in an op-ed in The New York Times.


Natco, which has a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, won regulatory permission to launch a generic version of the Harvoni hepatitis C treatment in India, The Economic Times says.

Amgen has reacquired all product rights to three drugs — Prolia, Vectibix and Xgeva — from GlaxoSmithKline in 48 markets around the world, Pharma Times writes.

The FDA is trying to sort out how to negotiate three new user fee agreements this year, as well as fill a large number of staff vacancies, Regulatory Focus tells us.

The FDA approved the first and only medicine that is able to treat a chemotherapy overdose or severe allergic reactions, according to Pharma Times.