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Rise and shine, everyone, another working week is getting underway. Unfortunately, a spot of rain is dotting the Pharmalot campus, although our spirits remain sunny. And why not? Every brand new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. Meanwhile, as you ponder the possibilities, here are some tidbits to help you along. Hope your day is successful and do keep in touch …

Drug makers must be empathetic and not try to defend price hikes that make drugs inaccessible, GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty tells CNBC. “In all circumstance, we need to be realistic and empathetic, we need to demonstrate better that we understand people are concerned about [drug pricing],” he said while at the Singapore Summit 2016. “I’m not, for a second, going to sit here and defend any historical pricing position.”

Drug makers adopted a 50-state strategy that includes employing hundreds of lobbyists and donating millions of dollars in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity report. They use a statehouse “playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that use the veneer of independence to fight limits on the drugs.”


Roche removed its Lariam anti-malarial pill from Ireland two months ago, but the drug maker denies the move was prompted by litigation, the Irish Examiner reports. For many years, Lariam was given to Irish Defence Forces deployed to missions in sub-Saharan Africa, but 50 serving or former members have lodged claims against the state over the drug and its alleged side effects. The withdrawal was only just disclosed over the weekend.

Novartis accelerated a push to convince doctors to prescribe its Entresto heart failure drug, Reuters tells us. The drug maker released an analysis that concluded the medicine contributed to higher quality of life scores compared with an older drug. Entresto sales have been disappointing, forcing Novartis to spend hundreds of millions more on marketing as it seeks to hit a modest target of $200 million in revenue from the drug this year.


Sanofi filed a lawsuit accusing Merck of infringing 10 patents on its Lantus insulin, the latest move to protect its all-important diabetes franchise, the Wall Street Journal informs us. Between looming lower-cost versions of Lantus and pricing pressures in the US, earnings are under pressure at Sanofi’s diabetes division, which accounts for about 20 percent of company-wide revenue.

Under new rules from the US National Institutes of Health, researchers will have to publicly report results of many more clinical trials, including some for drugs and devices that never reach the market, STAT tells us. Last year, STAT found widespread noncompliance with reporting requirements by both drug makers and academic institutions, as well as NIH staff scientists. In most cases, results were reported long after statutory deadlines or not at all.

GlaxoSmithKline is cutting the price charged for its Synflorix pneumococcal vaccine when given to refugees, following complaints from Doctors Without Borders about “exorbitant” costs, Reuters reports.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has not yet provided discounts on expensive heart medicines that were promised several months ago to many hospitals, according to Bloomberg News.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $4.3 billion in cash to buy a medical optics unit from Abbott Laboratories, adding to its lineup of products for cataract surgery and consumer eye health, USA Today writes.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rejected Roche’s Esbriet for treating early idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which the drug maker says leaves patients with no option to slow progression until lung function is lost, PharmaTimes says.

The Indian government has again extended voluntary implementation of guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing practices instead of making them mandatory, PharmaBiz tells us.

Novartis reported that an investigational multiple sclerosis drug cut the risk of disability progression in patients with a hard-to-treat form of the disease versus a placebo, according to Reuters.

Depomed plans to hold a special shareholder meeting on Nov. 15 as the drug maker battles efforts by Starboard Value to replace its board, the Wall Street Journal writes.

The first Tylenol multi-district litigation bellwether trial, which will explore whether the pill caused a woman to die of acute liver failure, had been scheduled to start Monday, but was postponed, according to Lexis Legal News.