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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is, once again, rather modest. We plan to manicure the Pharmalot campus, catch up on our reading and writing, and promenade with the official mascots. And what about you? This is a lovely time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. You could rummage through rummage sales – or hold one of your own. Or simply plan the rest of  your life. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …

The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rejected Perjeta, a Roche cancer drug, over uncertainty about its long-term clinical benefits, PharmaTimes writes. Roche shot back, arguing that “over 1,800 women per year in the UK …  could be denied access to Perjeta through the NHS in England. If the decision is not overturned, no breast cancer medicines will have been judged cost-effective by NICE in the last seven years.”

Donating money to charities that help people meet copays on costly drugs is a very profitable form of investing for drug makers — and provides tax breaks and good public relations, Bloomberg News writes. A million dollar contribution from a drug maker to a copay charity can keep hundreds of patients from abandoning a pricey drug, enabling the company to collect millions from Medicare.


Novartis is launching a major clinical trial program for Entresto as it tries to jumpstart languishing sales of the heart failure drug, according to PMLive. The effort involves more than 40 studies that are designed to generate a wealth of data showing the drug — which has met resistance in the United States from reluctant payers and physicians — can provide real world benefits.

Chinese health authorities are cutting prices for three expensive drugs by up to two-thirds as part of a push to reduce health care costs, Reuters tells us. The National Health and Family Planning Commission said prices will drop for GlaxoSmithKline’s Viread hepatitis B drug and AstraZeneca’s lung cancer pill Iressa, along with a lung cancer drug made by China’s Betta Pharmaceuticals.


More drug makers and payers are striking pay-for performance deals in which a payer allows access to a new drug but the drug firm does not get reimbursed for patients for whom the drug was not effective. But these deals work well when outcomes can be measured directly, John LaMattina writes in Forbes. Should payers raise the bar, he warns, drug makers could move their R&D efforts into areas where a drug’s impact can be easily defined and measured.

The US Food and Drug Administration warned against off-label use of Nizoral tablets made by Johnson & Johnson to treat skin and nail fungal infections due to a risk for serious liver damage and death outweighing benefits.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals received a notice of default from one of its bondholders for a delay in filing a Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2016.

A federal appeals court declined to revive a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Pfizer employee who accused the drug maker of illegally promoting the Lipitor cholesterol pill, Reuters says.

India is proposing an oil-for-drugs barter plan with Venezuela in hopes of recovering millions of dollars in payments owed to some of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Reuters reports.

In their pursuit of big breakthroughs that could lead to new medicines, foreign drug makers are showing growing interest in tying up with major Japanese universities, The Nikkei Asian Review writes.

B. Braun Medical will admit wrongdoing and pay up to $7.8 million to resolve criminal charges related to distributing contaminated saline syringes, according to a settlement with the US Department of Justice.