Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1. 23andMe said it will relaunch its direct-to-consumer genetic test two years after the FDA told the company to stop marketing the test without regulatory clearance, The Wall Street Journal reported. The genetic-testing firm said the FDA has now granted clearance to market the test, which can identify 36 rare diseases. The price of the newly cleared test is higher—it costs $199, up from $99.

2. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which is already under scrutiny for its pricing and drug-distribution practices, saw its shares plummet Wednesday after Citron Research published a report questioning its use of specialty pharmacies, according to Bloomberg Business. Citron alleged that Valeant and a specialty pharmacy called Philidor have created a network of phantom pharmacies that create fake sales of drugs.

3. Staff reviewers at the FDA said AstraZeneca's experimental gout treatment has higher rates of death, cardiovascular issues and kidney-related side effects than the placebo, Reuters reported. Analysts previously said the drug, lesinurad, is expected to bring in annual sales of $350 million by 2020.

4. More than 1,100 lobbyists are registered to promote the 21st Century Cures bill, a number that ProPublica describes as “staggering even by the standards of Washington.” Despite broad support for the legislation, a small number of critics say it isn't getting enough scrutiny.

5. The Association of National Advertisers hired a corporate investigative consulting firm and a marketing auditor to investigate questionable media-buying tactics, including rebates and arbitrage, according to The New York Times. Agencies that receive rebates from media companies for buying ads do not share those rebates with their clients, according to some companies.