Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1. People may stop taking statins if they read news stories that discuss the risks or adverse events associated with the drugs, according to a Danish study. The researchers noted that 2% of heart attacks and 1% of cases of cardiovascular disease can be directly attributed to negative news coverage. (NYT)

2. Zafgen said a second patient died during a Phase-III trial for its experimental obesity drug, beloranib. The drug works by making the body produce less fat and then burns off the excess fat. The company said it is in talks with the FDA to discuss the next steps. (Reuters)

3. Gilead Sciences defended its pricing strategy for Harvoni and Sovaldi, saying it disagrees with the findings of a Senate committee report that said the drugmaker knew the prices were too high for many patients. Gilead documents say the company was aware that the high prices would cause “extraordinary problems” for government health programs. (WSJ)

4. Breast-cancer patients taking tamoxifen had no increased risk of recurrence if they were taking an antidepressant, according to a new study conducted by Kaiser Permanente researchers. Women with breast cancer are often prescribed tamoxifen for five years to reduce the risk of recurrence.

5. ICYMI: Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie said the FDA approved Empliciti (elotuzumab) in combination with Revlimid as a treatment for multiple myeloma. The drug had been granted Breakthrough Therapy designation.