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 rather modest, as usual. We plan to rake mounds of leaves, catch up on our reading, and escort Mrs. Pharmalot to the latest installment of our “Let’s-see-them-before-they-die” concert series. And what about you? This is a lovely time to enjoy the great outdoors. The election is finally upon us, so you can start storing provisions in your cellar. Or you can simply pretend that nothing is happening and stay in bed. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon …
After a two-year investigation, federal prosecutors may file criminal charges before the end of the year against more than a dozen generic drug makers for price collusion, Bloomberg News reports. Individual companies have previously disclosed some details about the probe, but only a few drug makers have been identified as under scrutiny. Among those cited are Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals. The report slammed generic drug stocks, which Barron’s says lost an estimated $8.5 billion in market cap.
The next US president doesn’t need approval from Congress to lower some drug prices and can rely on provisions in the Bayh-Dole Act, a federal law that empowers the executive branch to get drug makers to reduce prices on medicines invented with the help of federal research funds, the Washington Monthly informs us. “We already have leverage in the law to force down prices — why isn’t President Obama using it?” asks Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas).
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals gave new details on the deaths in a late-stage trial that caused it discontinue one of two leading drugs last month, the Boston Business Journal reports. One more patient was discovered to have died in addition to the 18 patient deaths disclosed on Oct. 5. And for the first time, the company said that, of the original 18 deaths, 16 were in patients on the arm of the trial receiving its drug, revusiran.
The Food and Drug Administration has more than 700 job vacancies in its division that approves new drugs, and top officials say the agency is struggling to hire and retain staff because drug makers lure them away, Kaiser Health News writes. “They can pay them roughly twice as much as we can,” Janet Woodcock, who heads the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said at a rare-diseases summit recently.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Strides Shasun have settled a three-year dispute over the Agila injectables business, according to a regulatory filing. Shortly after Mylan purchased Agila from Strides for $1.6 billion in 2013, the injectables unit was cited for production problems by regulators. Strides subsequently placed $200 million in escrow, but $30 million was returned as part of the settlement.
Endo International withdrew more than half a million birth control pills made by contract manufacturer Patheon after tests indicated decreased levels of estrogen, InPharmaTechnologist writes.
CVS Health plans to cut about 600 jobs, mostly at its corporate offices in Rhode Island, Illinois, and Arizona over the next two months, according to Reuters.
UK patients with a certain form of blood cancer will get access to Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, PharmaTimes tells us.
GlaxoSmithKline will close a plant in Sydney, Australia, where Panadol products are made, by 2020 and eliminate about 220 jobs, the Australian Business Review reports.
Medivir agreed to buy two clinical-stage cancer candidates and their related development programs from Tetralogic Pharmaceuticals for up to $238 million, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News says.