Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 28

The FDA approved Amgen's cholesterol-drug Repatha.
The FDA approved Amgen's cholesterol-drug Repatha.

The FDA on Thursday approved Amgen's Repatha, which is the second drug in a new class of cholesterol-lowering therapies called PCSK9 inhibitors. Repatha and Praluent, Sanofi's and Regneron's PCSK9 inhibitor, which received FDA approval in July, have similar labels and similar prices although Repatha's price of $14,100 makes it $500 less than Praluent. Some physicians remain unsure about whether lowered LDL levels mean fewer heart attacks, strokes and death, according to The New York Times. However, payers are already ramping up efforts to compare and evaluate the drugs and establish their positions on their formularies.  

About two-thirds of Mylan shareholders voted in favor of acquiring Perrigo for $33 billion in a hostile bid, according to Bloomberg Business. Mylan had started pursuing the deal with Perrigo as it was fending off a takeover by Teva, which has since acquired Allergan's generic drugs business.

Eli Lilly's lung-cancer drug necitumumab hasn't yet been approved by the FDA but that hasn't stopped some physicians from questioning how the drug will be priced, The Wall Street Journal reported. A group of doctors published their pricing proposal for necitumumab in JAMA Oncology this week, arguing for a below-average price because results from a clinical trial showed that the drug extends life by only six to seven weeks.

Meda, a Swedish drugmaker, may be considering selling its US subsidiary in a deal worth up to $1 billion, sources told Bloomberg Business. The company issued a statement on Friday declining to comment on the rumors.

The Apple Watch is gaining market share against Fitbit, the Associated Press reported. Apple shipped 3.6 million smartwatches in the most recent quarter. Analysts say this means that Apple's units may have nearly overtaken the number of units shipped by Fitbit, the current market leader.