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Good morning, everyone, an welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite, which was an extended break on this side of the pond, was relaxing and invigorating, because that oh-so-familiar routine of meetings, calls, and deadlines has just returned. But what can you do? The world keeps spinning. So grab hold of a cup of stimulation or, perhaps, a water bottle to help you keep your balance and dig in to the items of interest we have assembled for you. Hope you ease back in gracefully today and, as always, do keep in touch.

Eleven drug makers, led by Pfizer (PFE) and Novartis (NVS), have set aside a combined $2 billion to invest in gene therapy manufacturing since 2018, according to a Reuters analysis. The full scope of the Novartis plan, a $500 million investment, is second only to Pfizer, which has allocated $600 million to build gene therapy plants. Drug makers say building their own manufacturing plants is a response to rising costs and delays associated with relying on third-party contract manufacturers, which are also expanding to capitalize on demand.


China will use its national drug bulk-buy scheme to lower the price of drugs currently sold at higher prices compared with other markets, Reuters writes. The move could force international drug makers to further cut prices and enable copycat medicines to replace imported off-patent brands at faster pace. Many brand drugs are currently more expensive in China than in other major markets. They could now be subject to a centralized procurement program where manufacturers must go through a bidding process in order to supply public hospitals.

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