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This is a challenging time to be running a drug maker.

To be sure, there is plenty of positive news. Congress heeded the call to pass legislation for speeding drug approvals. The Trump administration installed a Food and Drug Administration commissioner who is sympathetic to industry. More innovative medicines are finding their way to patients. And despite criticism over pricing, Congress has not taken any steps that might displease drug makers.


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  • Hi Ed,

    I see Gilead as having >$25 billion cash outside of US (Meg Tirrell’s bar chart). I can see why repatriation tax reform is very important. But can Gilead use the money to go beyond the 15% holding and outright acquire Galapagos when the stand-still agreement expires (supposed sometime in 2018)?

    Must such transaction occur in the US? If not, then would the “foreign cash” be subjected to US tax?



    • Hi John
      I’m not familiar with the terms of the agreement, but once a standstill expires, generally a stake can be increased, of course. But again, depends upon the terms here. Not sure about the answer to your other question about where an acquisition must take place, unfortunately.
      ed at pharmalot

  • Heart attack and stroke remain the leading causes of death globally and there appears to be a lack of new, promising drugs in the pipeline. What are your thoughts on the industry’s plan to address this problem?

    • Hi Damion
      That’s a big market. The key is demonstrating reductions in morbidity and mortality from CV events, which take lots of patients and time = money. A good candidate should merit the investment, but each company has its own agenda that dictates where resources are spent, right? So depends if a winning compound appears.
      ed at pharmalot

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