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Good morning and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite, which went by rather quickly, was refreshing and invigorating, because the usual routine of meetings, deadlines, and whatnot has returned. But you knew this would happen, yes? As always, we are coping by quaffing cups of stimulation. Our flavor today is Cinnamon Dolce, for those keeping track. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Have a lovely day and do keep in touch …

Pfizer has decided to remain a single company and not split its established and new medical lines into separate companies. In explaining its decision, the drug maker says its supposed “valuation gap” between its market cap and the value of its individual units has closed over time. Pfizer execs have debated the issue for years, but as we noted this summer, there were signs a split would not take place.

The US Food and Drug Administration is increasingly using an embargo tactic in which journalists must agree not to ask any questions of unapproved sources until given a go-ahead in exchange for an advance briefing about an upcoming announcement, Scientific American writes. By using a close-hold embargo, the FDA is gaining control of journalists who are supposed to keep an eye on those institutions.


Some GlaxoSmithKline investors are unhappy that Emma Walmsley was promoted to succeed Andrew Witty as chief executive, the Telegraph tells us. Some claim they were not properly consulted, while others are miffed the drug maker chose someone from inside the company. Others question whether Witty may have pressured the Glaxo board into choosing a candidate that was most likely to continue his diversification strategy.

Thirty-five states filed a lawsuit accusing the maker of Suboxone, a blockbuster drug that helps people control their opioid addiction, of anti-competitive business practices by coercing patients to use an oral strip because the tablets were set to face generic competition, PoliticoNew York reports. The alleged scheme by Indivior took place over five years during which time the company was spun off from Reckitt Benckiser.


Drug makers have spent more than $650,000 to send nurses to conferences in six months and are targeting specialists, spending as much as $10,000 to send one nurse to a five-day event, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. A University of Sydney researcher says that companies spent $12.5 million on nurses over four years and, even though most cannot prescribe drugs, nurses attended twice as many sponsored medical events as doctors.

The FDA approved the first biosimilar version of Humira, which is sold by AbbVie and is the world’s second best-selling drug, PharmaTimes tells us. Amgen’s Amjevita has been cleared for all of the same indications, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. However, Amgen may not be able to launch it until 2022, because AbbVie claims that Amjevita infringes patent protection on Humira that is valid until 2022.

Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could win FDA approval for their new eczema drug dupilumab, which Wall Street believes could be a $3 billion-a-year seller, by next March, Reuters says.

Merck’s Keytruda immunotherapy cancer drug is the first imported drug approved in China for use under a pilot program on the resort island of Hainan intended to boost medical tourism, the Wall Street Journal writes.

More than 500 Sun Pharma sales reps are expected to strike Monday over outstanding employment issues related to the takeover of Ranbaxy Laboratories, the Hindu Business Line reports.