Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, February 2, 2016



1. Generic versions of Novartis cancer-drug Gleevec landed on pharmacy shelves Monday. India-based drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals launched its generic, imatinib, which is expected to cost 30% less than the Novartis brand-name equivalent. Novartis reported Gleevec sales of $4.7 billion globally and $2.5 billion in the US last year. (NPR)

2. Purdue Pharma pain pill OxyContin had four of its patents invalidated by a federal appeals court Monday. Purdue sued Teva, Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Epic Pharma after the three drugmakers filed for FDA approval to make their own generic forms of the drug. The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the the trio's favor, upholding an order from a previous judge. (Reuters)

3. A study investigating the effectiveness of stop-smoking aids found that Pfizer's Chantix did not show any benefit over nicotine patches or lozenges in people looking to quit. The JAMA study did not see any significant difference in the quit rate between the three products at the six months or one year mark. (JAMA)

4. Sanofi will cut 600 jobs in France over three years as part of its new cost-cutting strategy. A Sanofi union representative said that 296 research and development positions, more than 100 corporate jobs and 155 commercial operation positions will be eliminated. (Bloomberg)

5. The Paris-based drugmaker also announced it will launch a project to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Brazil. Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi's vaccine arm, said it would leverage its expertise in developing vaccines for other tropical disease in working toward a treatment option. (Reuters)