And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda includes manicuring the Pharmalot corporate campus, hanging with some of the short people, and taking a few naps. And what about you? This is a nice time of year to take advantage of the great outdoors. You could catch up on your reading. Or simply contemplate the future. Well, whatever you do, be safe. And remember to call mom. See you soon …
Price increases on brand-name biologics are diminishing some of the expected savings from biosimilars, the Wall Street Journal reports. Big drug makers are raising prices to compensate for looming patent expiration and biosimilar makers are setting their prices just below them. A version of an Amgen drug used for people undergoing chemotherapy was priced 15 percent below the brand-name medicine. Amgen already raised its price by 15 percent.
Purdue Pharma successfully turned OxyContin into a blockbuster pill by insisting that one dose of its painkiller could provide relief for up to 12 hours when studies showed the benefits lasted eight hours or less, the Los Angeles Times reports. The discrepancy, which was never disclosed, contributed significantly to high rates of addiction. Meanwhile, STAT goes to court Friday in Kentucky in hopes of having documents unsealed in connection with litigation the company illegally marketed the drug.
Finding a replacement for Andrew Witty, the GlaxoSmithKline chief executive who will retire in March after a decade running the company, will be a “relatively expensive” process, GlaxoSmithKline chairman Philip Hampton told shareholders at the annual meeting in London Thursday. Why? The drug maker has gotten “good value” from its executives, according to Bloomberg News.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which has been skewered for its strategy of buying medicines and then jacking up the prices, has formed a new committee to oversee pricing policies. The committee, which initially will be headed by Joseph Papa, the new chief executive and chairman, will include a mix of Valeant employees, including doctors, scientists and other executives.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published draft guidelines that back the use of Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’s Praluent and Amgen’s Repatha for patients with high cholesterol, Pharma Times says. Separately, Regeneron says, in the US, about 74 percent of commercially insured lives and 91 percent of Medicare insured lives had access to Praluent, as of April 1, according to Reuters.
Pfizer inked a deal worth up to $911 million with WAVE Life Sciences to develop therapies for various metabolic diseases, according to the Boston Globe.
An experimental Eli Lilly drug called olaratumab, which is being tested as a combination treatment for combatting advanced soft tissue sarcoma, was granted priority review by US regulators, Pharma Times writes.
The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission plans to prepare a guidance document for good pharmacovigilance practices, according to PharmaBiz.
It would seem that biosimilars are just a later train on the same money track. Then again, the projected 20% savings they talked about 6 years ago were never that impressive to begin with – not when you start at 100K+ for a course of treatment, although yes 20K is a lot to me.
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