Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing and refreshing, because the relentless routine of deadlines, meetings, and whatnot has now returned. But you knew this would happen, yes? Well, what can you do but reach for a cup of stimulation and dig in. Toward that end, we have a menu of tidbits for you to peruse. Have a swell day and, of course, drop us a line when something interesting occurs …
China’s National Development and Reform Commission may require more drug makers to provide pricing information as part of a “large scale and systematic” antitrust probe, Reuters writes, citing the China Daily. The regulator recently summoned Pfizer, as well as several distributors and medical device manufacturers, as part of an effort to collect data and information.
Drug makers and other companies are warning that Britain’s departure from the European Union will create uncertainty and new barriers to investment that would threaten access to novel medicines, Pharma Times reports. In a letter to the Observer, more than 90 trade groups and companies — including GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca — argued that the future success of the UK life sciences sector relies on being part of the EU’s market and regulatory processes.
Inadequate record-keeping at Merck’s contract manufacturer has delayed the European launch of its Zepatier hepatitis C drug until the end of this year or early 2017, InPharma Technologist writes. The drug maker did not identify the contract manufacturer, but maintained that the issues are not believed to affect the safety or effectiveness of the treatment.
A Kentucky judge late last week indicated he would rule as early as this week on a request by STAT to unseal documents related to allegedly illegal marketing by Purdue Pharma of its OxyContin painkiller and what a top executive knew about the promotional campaign. A motion was filed to unseal records that were part of a lawsuit by the state against Purdue Pharma. In December, the lawsuit was settled when Purdue paid Kentucky $24 million.
Gilead Sciences is prowling for medicines to buy, its new chief executive says. “It’s time for us to go out and do important deals,” John Milligan, who became chief executive officer in March, tells Bloomberg News. “We need some other assets that can bolster our pipeline.” Not surprisingly, one of the key therapeutics categories is cancer.
Chiesi Farmaceutici is close to an agreement to acquire some of The Medicines Company’s cardiovascular assets for several hundred millions of dollars, according to Reuters.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals expects to file its first-quarter report with regulators on or before June 10, ahead of the July 31 deadline, Reuters writes, adding that the second-quarter filing is expected to be filed on time.
An FDA panel voted last Thursday that an immediate-release version of a hydrocodone/acetaminophen combination product could be approved, but should not get abuse-deterrent labeling, MedPage Today says.
The Gates Foundation is providing a $38 million grant to Takeda Pharmaceuticals to develop a low-cost polio vaccine for use in developing countries, The Economic Times reports.
GlaxoSmithKline is not considering a breakup, according to its chairman, Philip Hampton, despite pressure from some investors, Reuters tells us.