Good morning, all. Damian Garde here, filling in for Ed Silverman on another interesting day befitting our interesting times. Below find the latest tidbits as you inch ever closer to that blessed weekend.
For the first time in eight years, China has updated the list of medicines covered by state insurance, adding a host of new drugs in what could be a huge boon to pharma companies, Reuters tells us. For pharma, the coverage means bigger sales in a huge market, although companies will likely have to sacrifice some pricing power in exchange for such volume, analysts note. Among the newly covered medicines are a cancer drug from AstraZeneca, a hemophilia treatment from Shire, and a hepatitis B therapy from GlaxoSmithKline.
The speculation around Bristol-Myers Squibb’s future has only intensified, according to Bloomberg, which notes that Pfizer, Novartis, and Gilead Sciences all have the means (and perhaps the desire) to buy the struggling drug maker. Bristol-Myers isn’t cheap, commanding a market value of more than $92 billion, but it is on a heavy discount: Just eight months ago, the company was worth $130 billion.