Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing, despite the heat, because the usual routine of meetings and deadlines has returned. And the heat is still on, as they say. Well, to cope, we are quaffing cups of iced stimulation today, a bit of a change, but why not? Meanwhile, here are some items of interest to get you going. Hope your day goes well and, as always, do keep in touch …
An Abbott sales rep in India killed himself last week allegedly due to pressure to achieve periodic sales targets, the Economic Times reports. Ashish Awasthi, 35, was found dead on a railway track last week and a note recovered from him blamed the company for his death. Abbott denied any role in his death, noting that he was rated among the top performers and had recently qualified for a training certification meant for high performers.
Owen Smith, who is angling for leadership of the UK’s Labor Party, lobbied for Pfizer at a time when the company was pressuring the Philippines to pay 10 times the going rate for a heart drug, the Daily Mail writes. He headed UK government relations at Pfizer when the drug maker mounted legal action to force Philippines authorities to pay $1 for each Norvasc hypertension pill. Pfizer took action after the country tried to cut its health bill by importing the drug from India, where it cost 10 cents a pill.
More than two dozen people who work at a Johnson & Johnson unit will stand trial in Greece over allegations the DePuy subsidiary bribed doctors to secure equipment contracts with hospitals, Kathimerini reports. The payments allegedly took place between 2002 and 2006. Employees in Greece, as well as from its UK headquarters and doctors will go to trial in October.
AstraZeneca is upset its Tagrisso lung cancer medicine is not available in the UK, where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence decided the drug is not cost effective, the Telegraph says. Tagrisso has been approved in the US and the European Union. “Our frustration in the UK is it takes longer for NICE to agree on the same data set that other markets have had and granted access to,” says Lisa Anson, president of AstraZeneca UK and Ireland.
AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb will collaborate on a clinical trial for a lung cancer treatment combining AbbVie’s Rova-T with Bristol-Myers’s Opdivo and an Opdivo + Yervoy regimen, MarketWatch writes.
An anti-malaria drug could help radiotherapy to destroy tumors by slowing down the rate at which cancer cells use oxygen by targeting the mitochondria, PharmaTimes says, citing a new in Nature Communications.
CVS is making naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversal drug, available without a prescription in 30 states by next month, MarketWatch tells us.
Takeda Pharmaceutical is exploring the sale of its majority stake in Wako Pure Chemical Industries in order to raise cash, according to Bloomberg News.