Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, February 22, 2016

1. Merck CEO Ken Frazier said that while profits from high drug prices fund R&D, drugmakers need to do a better job communicating the value of their products. “We're going to have to find new and better ways to better link what we charge for the drug to the value that it actually creates in the marketplace,” he said. (WSJ)

2. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a vote that could let Dr. Robert Califf become the FDA commissioner. The procedural vote will bypass opposition from three senators, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Edward Markey (D-MA), who do not approve of Califf's appointment over his ties to industry and the agency's response to the opioid epidemic. (Stat)

3. Amgen and UCB reported top-line results from its Phase-III trial of its monoclonal antibody, romosozumab, an experimental treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The study hit its primary endpoint, showing a 73% reduction in vertebral fractures in patients taking romosozumab for 12 months.

4. Vaccines for the human papillomavirus virus, or HPV, have already reduced incidents of the virus by two-thirds in teenage girls. Immunization rates are still low, with about 40% of girls and 20% of boys receiving the vaccine between ages 13 and 17. The FDA approved the first HPV vaccine, Merck's Gardasil, in June 2006. (NYT)

5. ICMYI: MannKind, which manufactures inhalable insulin Afrezza, announced that its 90-year old founder, Alfred Mann, is stepping down from his role as executive chairman. His departure follows Sanofi's decision earlier this year to bow out of its marketing partnership for Afrezza. (LAT)