Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 8, 2016

1. GlaxoSmithKline is the first drugmaker to stop paying outside doctors to promote its drugs. The British company said it will no longer pay doctors anywhere in the world to make presentations on its behalf. The policy came into effect this week after two years of planning. GSK plans to build in-house teams to make presentations rather than use outside doctors. It will also train some of the 1,000 physicians already on staff to add to its roster of speakers. (FT)

2. Roche will pursue FDA regulatory approval of its cancer immuno-oncology drug atezolizumab in people with advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. The drugmaker reported positive results in Phase-II trials for the experimental immunotherapy. The drug received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA in February.

3. Mylan inked a deal with Momenta Pharmaceuticals to develop and manufacture six of Momenta's biosimilar candidates. Mylan will pay Momenta $45 million upfront with an additional $200 million possible in milestone payments. Momenta's Orencia biosimilar—a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis—is one of the experimental drugs in the deal.

4. The cancer death rate continues to drop. The American Cancer Society reported that a combination of factors—including less people smoking and advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment—have contributed to a 23% drop in the cancer death rate since it peaked in 1991. (American Cancer Society)

5. Walgreens Boots Alliance defended its 20-year distribution deal with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The holding company said in its earnings call Thursday that the agreement is a model for pharmacy distribution deals and lowers customer costs. (WSJ)