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Good morning, everyone, and nice to see you again. We took an extended weekend respite to spend time with some of our short people, but now the sojourn has sadly come to an end. Perhaps you can relate. In any event, we hope your own break was relaxing, because the usual routine of meetings, deadlines and whatnot has now returned. To cope, yes, we are quaffing cups of stimulation and invite you to do the same. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Have a smashing and do keep in touch …

AstraZeneca is considering an offer for Medivation, which recently rejected a bid from Sanofi, the Telegraph reports. Medivation, which is valued at $8.7 billion, hired JP Morgan to help defend itself from an unwanted takeover. The company is generating interest from other drug makers thanks to its Xtandi prostate cancer treatment. Earlier this year, AstraZeneca ruled out large deals unless they could immediately boost earnings.

Manufacturers of biosimilars have teamed up to win acceptance in the UK for their medicines from doctors and patients, the Financial Times reports. The British Biosimilars Association arrives as the National Health Service faces financial stress over the cost of medicines. Expensive biologics drugs account for six of the top 10 medicine expenditures by the NHS.


The epidemic of prescription drug addiction has gotten so bad that health care workers routinely steal pills from pharmacies and health care facilities, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The paper found that at least 217 health care employees in Ohio were implicated in the theft of prescription drugs in 2014. Of course, the problem may be even worse if theft is underreported.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is teaming up with several nonprofits to provide its Daklinza hepatitis C drug to treat 10,000 patients over the next two years in developing nations in Asia and Africa, Modern Healthcare writes. This follows an agreement last fall the drug maker signed with the Medicines Patent Pool, which is backed by the United Nations, that allows generic manufacturers to develop its drug under royalty-free license for sale in 112 developing countries.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals has retained investment banks to review interest from buyout firms and other companies that may be interested in acquiring some of its assets, Reuters reports. The move is the clearest indication yet that the beleaguered drug maker may have to unwind the collection of businesses gathered during a years-long acquisition spree in order to pay down debt.

More than one-third of advanced melanoma patients who were given Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo during a study survived at least five years, the Wall Street Journal reports. The study followed 107 patients who were enrolled in an early trial of the drug, and 34 percent of the participants, all of whom had failed treatment while on other drugs, were still alive five years later.

Germany’s Merck KGaA is denying claims by Merck, the US drug maker, that it infringed on the American company’s trademark, which is the subject of a recently filed lawsuit, the New Jersey Law Journal tells us.

The Indian government plans to create bulk drugs manufacturing hubs as part of strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on Chinese suppliers for its domestic pharmaceutical industry, the Economic Times writes.

Merck’s Zepatier hepatitis C drug generated cure rates high as 96 percent in two patient populations studied in Phase 3 trials, Pharma Times says.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended a PTC Therapeutics drug to treat some patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Pharma Times reports.

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