And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. You were waiting for this moment, yes? This is, of course, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. As usual, our agenda is rather modest. We plan to putter around the castle and catch up on some reading. And what about you? This is, of course, a nice time of year to watch the leaves fall, preferably in a location that does not require you to do any raking. Or better yet, you could search for the Great Pumpkin. Intriguing, yes? Whatever you do, have a jolly old time. But please, be safe. See you soon…
Valeant Pharmaceuticals has cut ties with Philidor Rx Services, which is now shutting down. And yesterday, CVS Health, Express Scripts and Optum Rx, the three largest pharmacy benefits managers in the US, decided not to work with the mail-order pharmacy. That decision meant Philidor was no longer useful. Without being in a PBM network, pharmacies can handle prescriptions only for people who pay for their own drugs, but most people don’t do that.
Meanwhile, there is still more on the inner workings at Philidor. Bloomberg News writes how workers at the mail-order pharmacy were given written instructions to change codes on prescriptions so it would appear that physicians required or patients desired Valeant Pharmaceutical’s brand-name drugs – and not less expensive generic versions – be dispensed.
And despite negative publicity about Valeant Pharmaceutical pricing practices, Wall Street analysts had remained bullish on its stock, according to Bloomberg News. Of 23 analysts covering the drug maker, about 80 percent rated it as a buy on Aug. 5, when its shares peaked. Only one analyst rated the stock as a sell. Since August, the stock has tumbled, and three analysts cut ratings. And of 19 firms following the stock, 11 reduced price targets.
As drug makers including Novartis, Juno Therapeutics and Kite Pharma race to launch CAR T cells, which may be the most effective treatments ever seen for leukemia and other blood cancers, they are grappling with how to make them widely available in a reliable and cost-efficient way, Reuters tells us. the production process takes about two weeks per patient, representing a challenge to provide individualized medications for large numbers of people.
Pfizer faces political risks in Washington if it proceeds with a bid for Allergan, but with little chance of legislation to curb such tax inversion deals, the Obama administration may be able to throw up only limited obstacles, Reuters says. Lawmakers are unlikely to tackle major tax code changes before the 2016 presidential election, but they were already scolding Pfizer publicly, showing that companies considering inversion deals do face reputational risk.
In nearly 100 news articles describing 36 cancer drugs, words like “breakthrough” and “miracle” were used, even though 50 percent of the time those drugs were not approved by the FDA, writes MedPage Today. And 14 percent of the time those drugs had not even been tested in humans yet. The superlatives included: breakthrough, game changer, miracle, cure, home run, revolutionary, transformative, life saver, groundbreaking and marvel.
The Innovations for Healthier Americans Act, a Senate companion to the House 21st Century Cures Act, will aim to help FDA recruit the best personnel and outside experts, according to BioCentury, citing remarks made by Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican. A draft is likely to be released next month.
A deal involving Pfizer and Allergan is raising fears that contract research organizations will suffer as pipeline projects get cut, according to Outsourcing Pharma.
Dr. Reddy’s disclosed that two of its customers for active pharmaceutical ingredients received rescission letters from the FDA, The Economic Times writes.
The Walgreens Boots Alliance deal to acquire Rite Aid is expected to draw antitrust scrutiny not only because the company would grow to 12,700 locations, but because of what goes on behind the scenes with drug payments, Bloomberg News says.Print This Post