Business briefs: Gilead, Boehringer, Rx sample ban

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Germany's regulator is not in a Stribild-favoring mood. Pharmalot's Ed Silverman writes in Forbes that the government body issues a preliminary decision that says Gilead's four-in-one HIV medication Stribild doesn't have an advantage over Atripla. Silverman notes that Stribild has fewer psychiatric side effects than Atripla, but this difference has not swayed the regulator. Silverman says the importance is not so much Germany's market, which is a small one, but the impact it's decision could have on its neighbors should they take note of what's happening there. His reason: research from ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum which notes that failing to get Germany's OK would peg Stribild's price to Atripla, which is lower and closer to generic status, which means Atripla's price, and therefore Stribild's could drop again.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Roche subsidiary Ventana will collaborate on developing companion diagnostics for BI's oncology programs, the companies announced Thursday. The agreement will use Ventana's immunohistochemistry platform to support BI's personalized medicine efforts in the cancer space.

New York took away unfettered access to baby formula samples, and some Wisconsin hospitals are upping the ante and saying no to prescription drug samples. The Green Bay Press Gazette reports that a Fox Cities based health system named ThedaCare is among the facilities have ended sampling, citing research that indicates samples drive patients to demand higher-priced medications, triggering higher out-of-pocket costs. The Gazette notes that ThedaCare is not the leader in this move – Green Bay's Bellin Health beat them to it several years ago.

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