Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, November 24, 2015


1. The FDA approved Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo to treat another form of advanced skin cancer, the drugmaker announced. Opdivo was first approved in 2014. It realized revenue of $467 million worldwide in the nine months ending Sept. 30. The latest approval was based on data from a late-stage trial, the company said. (Reuters)

2. Doctors should prescribe generic drugs more often. Greater use of generics could prompt greater patient adherence to long-term therapies, the study predicted. Looking at Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, the study found doctors prescribe generics only 23% to 45% of the time. (American College of Physicians)

3. New higher-cost hepatitis-C medications should be given at much earlier stages of treatment than some insurers now allow . The drugs, which can cost $100,000 for a course of treatment, can be cost-effective even when given at early stages of liver fibrosis, the study found. (University of California, San Francisco)

4. Off-label prescribing of drugs increases the possibility of negative side effects, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Doctors should take more care in prescribing off-label and more closely monitor patients taking drugs for off-label purposes, an editorial in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested. (WSJ)

5. The proposed merger between Pfizer and Allergan may lead to the expected breakup of the company into two businesses. One would focus on new drugs, including Pfizer's breast-cancer drug Ibrance and Allergan's Botox. The other would market older drugs, like Pfizer's Celebrex or Allergan's Teflaro, an antibiotic. (WSJ)