Company News: Johnson & Johnson, PriCara, Novartis and Merck KGaA

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Johnson & Johnson's PriCara launched PrescribeResponsibly.com, a website for healthcare professionals on appropriate and responsible prescribing of opioid analgesics including case studies, sections about the role of genetics in pain and response to opioid drugs and info about the importance of considering these factors in prescribing. PriCara makes Duragesic, Ultram ER and Nucynta.
 
Three January New England Journal of Medicine studies showed that oral medications for multiple sclerosis from Novartis and Merck KGaA reduce relapse and worsening of the neurological disease. Patients who took the drugs had higher rates of infections, though. Novartis has applied for US approval of FTY720, while Merck KGaA's Merck Serono unit must resubmit its application for cladrabine after receiving an FDA refuse-to-file letter.

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