Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. The weekend respite went by quickly, yes? Well, you knew this would happen. Nonetheless, we hope you are feeling invigorated and refreshed, because the to-do is likely growing quickly already. So time to heat the coffee kettle for another cup of stimulation to cope with deluge. No prescription is required, you know. Hope you have a terrific day and keep us in mind when you hear juicy news …
Despite the controversy over its pricing practices, Valeant Pharmaceuticals ran a Super Bowl ad, which can cost around $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, MedCity News notes. The ad was for Xifaxan, a drug used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, as well as nausea and diarrhea. The spending comes as drug makers, in general, are criticized for using high prices to fund ads that target consumers unnecessarily.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is proposing that the National Health Service not cover the Praluent injectable cholesterol treatment, Pharma Times writes. The watchdog agency issued draft guidance saying the medicine, which is targeted at people with hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidemia, lacks sufficient comparison data. The drug is marketed by Sanofi in partnership with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
The US Justice Department is investigating health-care fraud linked to compounded creams used to treat pain and other ailments, The Wall Street Journal reports. And Tricare, the health insurer for US military personnel, veterans, and their families, may have been the largest victim of the suspected fraud, which authorities believe may total a half billion dollars.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals reported disappointing mid-stage trial results for a drug to treat hereditary angioedema, a rare genetic ailment that causes swelling of the face and airways, MarketWatch tells us.
The FDA rejected an effort by Vertex Pharmaceuticals to market its Kalydeco cystic fibrosis treatment to additional subsets of patients, The Boston Globe reports.
Biogen is joining the Center for Therapeutic Target Validation, a public-private collaboration launched two years ago in which pre-clinical trial data is shared to develop new medicines.
The European Medicines Authority is creating a task force to speed development of vaccines to combat the Zika virus, according to Reuters.
The FDA expanded approved uses for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza to include three subsets of patients with hepatitis C, Pharma Times writes.
The prices of certain life-saving drugs in India may rise between 10 percent and 25 percent due to changes in custom duties, The Economic Times says.