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Pharmalot… Pharmalittle… We’re catching up on drug prices, antibiotics and…

coffee thx to chichacha on flickr creative commons [1]

coffee thx to chichacha on flickr creative commons

Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are just fine, thank you, as we prepare for another busy round of deadlines, interesting conversations and whatever else comes our way. This sounds familiar, yes? So to cope, we are quaffing a few cups of stimulation. Our flavor today is the appropriately seasonal Pumpkin Spice. Do join us. Meanwhile, here are some items of interest we have assembled. Have a smashing day and do stay in touch…

US prices for the world’s 20 top-selling medicines are, on average, three times higher than in the UK, according to an analysis carried out for Reuters [2]. US prices were consistently higher than in other European markets, six times higher than in Brazil and 16 times higher than the average in the lowest-price country, which was usually India. The US has higher drug prices than other countries where governments directly or indirectly control medicine costs.

Nursing homes are emerging in the war on the overuse of antibiotics, which are some of the most frequently prescribed meds, The Wall Street Journal [3] tells us. In the past, the focus was on curbing misuse of antibiotics in hospitals. Up to 70% of nursing home residents receive one or more courses of antibiotics every year for urinary tract infections, pneumonia, cellulitis and other conditions, but up to 75% of those prescriptions are given incorrectly.

Roche will withdraw its Lariam anti-malarial drug from Ireland in July, but denied the move was linked to litigation over side effects, The Irish Independent [4] says. A court case begins today and the military also faces legal claims from former soldiers who took the drug on overseas missions. A Roche spokeswoman insists this is “a commercial decision” not linked to legal or safety issues. Ireland is the only country where Lariam is being withdrawn.

Early last year, Mallinckrodt spent $1.3 billion to buy a company and more than doubled the price of an injectable form of acetaminophen, but some large hospitals fought back by finding alternatives, Bloomberg News [5]says.

China has issued new guidelines for clinical research organizations conducting trials, which require dossiers to be submitted to the country’s FDA for review no matter where they have been filed, BioSpectrum Asia [6] writes.

Collegium Pharmaceutical says the FDA will not be able to complete a review of its opioid painkiller by Monday, Reuters [7]says. Last month, an FDA panel recommended the drug.

The Irish Takeover Panel rejected Perrigo’s request to declare Mylan’s unsolicited tender offer lapsed, and maintained the offer remains lawful and fully capable of acceptance by all Perrigo shareholders, Reuters [8]reports.

Johnson & Johnson plans to buy back up to $10 billion in stock, or about 4 percent of shares outstanding, in a move to tweak its capital structure, The Wall Street Journal [9] writes, noting J&J will issue debt to fund the program.

Ken Koe, a Pfizer chemist who co-invented Zoloft, which once was the most-prescribed antidepressant drug in the U.S., has died at age 90, reports. No cause was given.