Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing and invigorating, because that vociferous routine of meetings, deadlines, and the like has returned. You knew this would happen, though, yes? So, as always, we are coping by quaffing a cup or two of stimulation. Anything to gain an advantage. And you are invited to do the same. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to get things going. Have a wonderful day and do keep in touch …
AstraZeneca is looking at ways to more directly link executive compensation to a $45 billion revenue target amid investor concern over the pay package given chief executive Pascal Soriot, Bloomberg News tells us. The moves comes as The Sunday Times reports that more than 20 percent of AstraZeneca shareholders may reject his compensation package.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals releases overdue financial results and guidance Tuesday, and investors wonder whether the drug maker can generate sufficient revenue. Valeant must pay down more than $30 billion in debt amid plans to dial back price hikes and acquisitions. Meanwhile, the board was so concerned about the problems, it considered replacing chief executive Michael Pearson with Fred Hassan or Chris Viehbacher, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Doctors at the University Hospitals of Cleveland now see a recognizable symbol — $$$$$ — pop up alongside certain drugs when they sign in online to prescribe medications for patients, The Washington Post says. The idea is to flag high-priced medications, which are increasingly eating into hospital budgets and causing a financial squeeze, some administrators complain.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has outflanked Merck in the race to sell new immunotherapies for cancer, The Wall Street Journal writes. Many oncologists don’t have time to run a diagnostic test that must be used with Merck’s drug, Keytruda, which screens tumors for a protein that signals the drug may work in treating lung cancer. Bristol’s Opdivo can be used without requiring patients to be tested.
An Indian court granted a stay on a government ban on Pfizer’s popular Corex cough syrup, Reuters reports. The ban was part of a wider notice issued over the weekend that prohibited the sale and manufacture of 344 combination drugs that a panel of experts found posed a risk to humans. The pharmaceutical industry, meanwhile, is gearing up to fight the ban, according to The Economic Times.
The Food and Drug Administration expanded approval of Pfizer’s Xalkori to treat a subset of lung cancer patients with a rare mutation, the Associated Press writes.
India’s drug controller withdrew a safety alert over the use of Roche’s Avastin for treating wet age-related macular degeneration, according to The Economic Times.