Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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1. Propeller Health, which makes a digital inhaler, formed a commercial partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, who are being treated with BI's Respimat inhaler, can choose to enroll in a program to test how Propeller's technology affects adherence and engagement rates. Propeller announced a development agreement with GlaxoSmithKline late last year.

2. A jury voted in favor of Merck in a patent case that will allow the drugmaker to seek royalties from Gilead Sciences for Harvoni and Sovaldi, its blockbuster hepatitis-C drugs. Jurors agreed that Merck's scientists were behind the early breakthroughs that led to the development of those drugs. (Bloomberg)

3. The FDA approved Taltz, Eli Lilly's injected plaque psoriasis treatment. The drug is expected to become available to patients by June.

4. Sanofi and Regeneron said a late-stage study showed that Praluent, their PCSK9 inhibitor, reduced the need for apheresis therapy, which is used to remove bad cholesterol from the blood of patients with a inherited form of high cholesterol. That procedure can cost $100,000 per patient per year. (Reuters)

5. Fitch Ratings said that the lawsuit filed by Anthem against Express Scripts may have broader implications for the rest of the industry. Still, the ratings agency said that it believes pharmacy benefit managers help moderate the costs of prescription drugs as a whole.

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