Business Briefs: India Health Ministry, Takeda, Sucampo and Pfizer Consumer Care

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India Today reported that the Indian health ministry will ban sales of painkiller Analgin, diabetes treatment pioglitazone (Actos) and anti-depressant Deanxit. Takeda's Actos, which went off patent in 2012 in the US, has been linked to increased risk of bladder cancer. Actos was recalled in France and received a warning for usage by FDA in 2011. India Today also reported that the health ministry has been debating the ban of Analgin and Deanxit for “years now, despite pressure from a parliamentary panel,” but that, “the decision on the diabetes drug pioglitazone has taken the industry completely by surprise.” Those drugs' bans will take place immediately.

In other Takeda news, the pharma company made a $10-million milestone payment to Sucampo, triggered by the commercial launch of Amitiza in the US for opioid-induced constipation (OIC), as per an existing license agreement between the two firms. Amitiza was approved by the FDA in 2006 for chronic idiopathic constipation. The OIC indication was sanctioned this year.

Pfizer Consumer Care, as part of the existing Advil Relief in Action campaign, said that the brand has signed on to become the official pain reliever of the Tough Mudder series of endurance-challenge events. Their partnership kicks off this weekend at a Tough Mudder event in Michigan. Participants at select events will be able to find an Advil Relief in Action station at the end of the course and, at 10 events, join Advil for a photo opp to share their accomplishment on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #ReliefInAction.

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