Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, November 23, 2015

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1. Pfizer announced a $160 billion deal to merge with Allergan, creating the largest drugmaker in the world. The deal is expected to help lower Pfizer's overall tax rate by redomiciling in Dublin, Ireland—a tactic known as inversion. Pfizer will pay $363.64 for each Allergan share—a 30% premium of Allergan's share price from late October. (NYT)

2. Embroiled drugmaker Turing Pharmaceuticals will cut the price of toxoplasmosis treatment Daraprim by as much as 50% for hospitals, according to an unnamed source. The drug's price will still remain higher than it was under its previous owner, Impax Laboratories. Turing came under fire for raising the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet following its acquisition of the drug. (WSJ)

3. Amgen struck a deal with pharmacy benefit manager CVS for its new cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitor, Repatha. CVS said it reviewed both Sanofi's and Regeneron's Praluent and Amgen's Repatha and found the two to be clinically equivalent. The PBM's chief medical officer said it is able to cover the drug at a significant discount due to that competitive leverage. (Bloomberg Business)

4. Novartis settled a civil fraud lawsuit for $370 million based on allegations that it gave kickbacks to specialty pharmacies that recommended two of its drugs: Exjade, which treats iron chelation, and Myfortic, an anti-rejection drug given to kidney transplant recipients. The suit claimed that Novartis gave patient referrals and rebates to incentivize sales. (

5. Hakan Edstrom, CEO of MannKind, stepped down. Alfred Mann, the company's founder, will serve as interim chief executive while MannKind searches for a permanent replacement. The drugmaker recently launched inhaled insulin, Afrezza. The product's sales have disappointed investors since its launch. (LAT)