Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing and provided an opportunity to collect your wits, since these will be greatly needed in coming days. With this in mind, we will down another cup of stimulation and happily present the usual menu of interesting items to help you along. Have a wonderfully productive day and do keep us in mind when you hear about something intriguing …
Bayer (BAYRY), Roche (RHHBY), and other drug makers are warning that a German government proposal to tighten price controls on prescription drugs could end up restricting access to new medicines, the Business Times says. The plan would limit first revenue for a new drug to $380 million. Afterward, controls would kick in to restrict the price. Currently, drug makers can charge whatever they want in the first year a medicine is on sale regardless of how much they earn.
Celgene (CELG) executive vice president Rich Bagger is leaving his day-to-day role on the Trump transition team. The move suggests that a much-anticipated pipeline from the pharmaceutical industry to the White House will not become a reality. A former Pfizer (PFE) executive and New Jersey lawmaker, Bagger had also once worked as chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was shoved aside as head of the transition team late last week.
Novartis (NVS) is in talks to acquire Amneal Pharmaceuticals (AMRX), a generic drug maker, in a deal that could be worth as much as $8 billion, Bloomberg News reports. Founded in 2002, Amneal is a family-owned business, led by cofounders Chintu and Chirag Patel, which makes the antiviral acyclovir to treat bouts of herpes as well as gabapentin for epilepsy and pain.
A newly released study suggests that the painkiller celecoxib, once sold under the brand name Celebrex, is safer than prescription doses of ibuprofen or naproxen, Forbes tells us. However, there is debate about the extent to which the study provides sufficient answers because of some flaws: By the end of the study, 69 percent of patients stopped taking their medicine and researchers lost track of 27 percent of them.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals chief executive Joe Papa has lost almost $1.3 million on the Valeant stock he bought when he joined the beleaguered drug maker, the Financial Times writes. Papa purchased about 200,000 shares on the open market in June, spending $4.9 million. But Valeant shares closed at $18.09 last Friday afternoon, about 26 percent lower than the $24.48 that he Papa paid for his shares.
The US Preventive Services Task Force issued final recommendations for using statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults, but debate has ensued, MedPage Today tells us. Most — but not all — experts expressed strong support for the concept of primary prevention with statins, but with different underlying philosophies and widely varying ideas about how it should best be implemented.
The Food and Drug Administration granted priority review to an investigational drug that Novartis is developing to treat a fast-growing form of leukemia, Reuters writes.