Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 15, 2015


1. Valeant, which has faced Congressional scrutiny over its drug-pricing practices, agreed to cut prices by 10% on the branded prescription dermatology and ophthalmology products it will sell through Walgreens Boots Alliance. The lower prices also will be available to other independent pharmacies. Among the drugs included are Jublia, a toe fungus treatment, and Solodyn, an oral antibiotic for acne. (Bloomberg Business)

2. Merck failed to win approval from an FDA panel to market its cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin with the claim that it reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with coronary heart disease. The FDA does not have to follow the recommendation of its advisory committee but normally it does. (Reuters)

3. Pacira Pharmaceuticals settled a lawsuit filed against the FDA over the marketing of its pain drug Exparel. The drugmaker had sued the FDA after the agency had sought to limit marketing of the drug to use after bunion and hemorrhoid surgeries. The agency had issued a warning letter in 2014 saying Pacira was promoting the drug for unapproved uses. On Monday the FDA said it would agree that the drug's approval wasn't limited to postoperative use for those two types of surgery alone. (StreetInsider.com)

4. The number of new US drug approvals so far in 2015 has already surpassed the total OKed in 2014, which itself represented an 18-year record for approvals, yet drugmaker ROI on R&D spending has fallen dramatically, according to a new Deloitte report. R&D ROI is at 4.2% in 2015, compared with 10.1% in 2010, the report noted. (Reuters)

5. Sanofi is talking with Boehringer Ingelheim about an exchange of assets that would make Sanofi the largest global seller of consumer healthcare products. The negotiations involve swapping Sanofi's animal-health business for Boehringer's consumer healthcare business, which includes such US offerings brands as Dulcolax, a constipation product. Sanofi's top US brand is Allegra. (WSJ)