Actavis CEO touts his acquisition strategy

Brent Saunders, the mind behind the $66 billion acquisition of Allergan, which elevated Actavis to the tenth-largest drugmaker in the world, tells Forbes that growth through acquisition is not simply a short-term tactic but part of a long-term strategy.

Rx painkillers increase risk of birth defects: CDC

The CDC and March of Dimes Foundation are asking prescribers to discuss safer alternatives than opioid painkillers for women who may become pregnant.

Guidemark Health jumpstarts rebrand, brings on big-agency grad

Guidemark Health jumpstarts rebrand, brings on big-agency grad

Tina Fascetti is the mid-sized agency's new Chief Creative Officer. CEO Matt Brown (and ICC Lowe alum) tells MM&M the new Guidemark is just getting started.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 22

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 22

Takeda COO Weber refuses Sanofi CEO post; J&J seeks $7.2 billion from Boston Scientific over 10-year old-Guidant acquisition; UCB submits epilepsy drug for US and EU approval.

Novartis psoriasis drug approval could upend market

Novartis psoriasis drug approval could upend market

A novel psoriasis treatment approved today, which demonstrated superiority to TNF inhibitors, could unseat entrenched competitors like Amgen's Enbrel and J&J's Stelara.

Merck to end US Victrelis distribution this year

The hepatitis C medication will be on the US dustheap, but Merck expects to file a new drug with the FDA later this year.

Nurse practitioner workforce has just about doubled

Marketers may want to dust off plans to create NP-centric materials.

Sandoz gets ready to make the biosimilar case with oncologists

Sandoz gets ready to make the biosimilar case with oncologists

Novartis's Sandoz will kickstart its marketing plans as it awaits FDA's decision to approve the first biosimilar in the US.

J&J Q4 sales slip, but year finishes up 4.2%

J&J Q4 sales slip, but year finishes up 4.2%

Despite growth, some disappointment lurks in the numbers -- possibly for hepatitis C medication Olysio.

Supreme Court says Teva MS patent stands (for now)

The ruling stalls generics until at least September.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 20

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 20

FDA draws fine line between health and wellness apps; Colorado gives biosimilar swap law another look; ZMapp is set to start human trials of its Ebola vaccine.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 16

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 16

CMS head Marilyn Tavenner has resigned; Depomed acquires Nucynta pain pill from J&J; Merck's innovation lead leaves for insurer.

BI weighs sale of generic business

Boehringer Ingelheim announced Thursday that it may sell its Roxane Labs generics business, which Bloomberg says may be worth up to $2.3 billion.

Abandonment rates indicate room in the anti-TNF market

Abandonment rates indicate room in the anti-TNF market

Swedish researchers found rheumatoid arthritis patients tend to drop their first anti-TNF treatment.

Better Rx coverage associated with outcomes lift: study

Better Rx coverage associated with outcomes lift: study

A study funded and conducted in part by the CVS Research Institute found that an expansion of prescription-drug benefits could mean better health outcomes as well as reduced spending.

Roche's scuttled cholesterol drug may work

Clinical trials indicate the CTEP works for specific genetic profiles.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, January 14

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, January 14

Pharma ad budgets are growing, says IPG; Medical device tax debate rages on; Pfizer has PCSK9 pill in the works.

FDA to study impact of shorter DTC risk list

FDA to study impact of shorter DTC risk list

The FDA is looking into whether abbreviated risk information is a good idea for DTC.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 13

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 13

Prime Therapeutics gives Gilead's Harvoni and AbbVie's Viekira Pak preferred formulary status; Novartis and Qualcomm team up for new investment firm; UK cost watchdog axes cancer drug coverage.

Pfizer challenges Novartis OTC ad claims

Pfizer challenges Novartis OTC ad claims

Pfizer, through the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division, disputes that Novartis's Theraflu 'starts to work in the body in 5 minutes.'

News hints at BMS-Merck PD-1 lung cancer tussle

News hints at BMS-Merck PD-1 lung cancer tussle

News flowing from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck show the two companies may fight for elbow room among lung cancer patients with drugs that have already started building credibility in other indications.

NFL players promote Healthcare.gov

HHS says the government and Seattle Seahawks discussed the PSA soon after the 2014 Superbowl win.

J&J inks Alzheimer's vaccine deal

The $509-million agreement gives J&J rights to AC Immune's experimental anti-Tau vaccine.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, January 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, January 12

BMS halts cancer drug trial over positive Phase-III results; Shire has acquired NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion; 23andMe expands Pfizer agreement.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 9

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, January 9

Regeneron/Sanofi PCSK9 meets Phase-III endpoint; Anthem selects Gilead's Harvoni as primary HCV treatment; GSK and Merck about to begin human trials for Ebola vaccine.

Alkermes mid-stage antipsychotic stays on track

A Phase-II study showed the schizophrenia drug performed as well as, but without the weight gain associated with, an older treatment.

AbbVie female health drug's success hinges on safety

AbbVie female health drug's success hinges on safety

AbbVie announced positive interim Phase-III results Thursday for its endometriosis drug elagolix, but one analyst says its commercial impact is likely linked to its effect on patients' bone mineral density.

Mallinckrodt plans expansion of commercial staff

The specialty biopharma firm says it's hiring new commercial managers after a buying spree.

Pfizer cancer drug skips FDA advisory panel

Pfizer cancer drug skips FDA advisory panel

The FDA told Pfizer that it isn't bothering with a committee review for the experimental breast cancer drug Ibrance (palbociclib). The part two news exciting investors: Pfizer and the FDA are already talking labels.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 8

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 8

Sandoz received FDA biosimilar nod; new technique yields 25 antibiotics; Novartis sends two COPD drugs for FDA review.

Patient survey indicates promise of EHR

Patient survey indicates promise of EHR

The fifth annual Xerox survey of patients and electronic health records shows patients have high expectations for the digital data.

Novartis to leverage DNA-editing tool for immunotherapy

The drugmaker has signed a deal with two biotechs with novel gene-sequencing capabilities.

Five things for pharma marketers to know Wednesday, January 7

Five things for pharma marketers to know Wednesday, January 7

India's Patent Office sets aside Humira patent; Gilead acquires fatty liver disease agent; Bloomberg report says M&A activity likely to persist in 2015.

As predicted, Gilead strikes hep.-C pact with CVS

Countering Express Scripts' exclusive status for AbbVie's hep.-C entry, CVS/Caremark makes Harvoni and Sovaldi preferred choices on its drug lists.

2013 healthcare spending crept upwards

2013 healthcare spending crept upwards

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it is too early to blame a sluggish economy for slow growth.

Mylan enters generic Diovan fray

The drugmaker launched four doses of the blood pressure medication.

Patients lie on EMRs

Clemson University researchers found that patients are not all that honest with healthcare providers.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 6

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, January 6

Pfizer continues to scoop up vaccine assets, Dendreon heads to auction with no lead bidder, Genentech and 23andMe will take on the Parkinson's genome.

FDA panel to weigh first biosimilar application

FDA panel to weigh first biosimilar application

The committee is slated to rule on Sandoz's Zarzio Jan 7.

J&J subsidiary inks $35M RNA deal

The ISIS Pharmaceuticals collaboration will focus on gastrointestinal autoimmune disorders.

Talking, braille labels to show up in mailboxes

A CVS Health/American Council of the Blind collaboration means some visually impaired patients will soon have more engaging prescription labels.

Novo CEO is looking for the exits

Rebien Soerensen told a Danish paper that he expects to leave his position before 2019.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, January 5

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, January 5

Severe flu season to test Roche's Tamiflu; Novartis gains nod for psoriasis drug; Amgen and Kite collaborate on immunotherapy.

MM&M's top reads of 2014

MM&M's top reads of 2014

A look at the content that grabbed most reader interest over the past year.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 31

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 31

Pop songs about doctors get heavy rotation in BMJ; digital-health investment tally shows doubling in 2014; scientists finger bats as possible Ebola source.

Novo seeks to make Saxenda a familiar name in weight loss

Novo seeks to make Saxenda a familiar name in weight loss

The company is set to introduce its newest brand, Saxenda, into the crowded prescription obesity market as a higher-dose form of liraglutide than diabetes shot Victoza.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 30

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 30

NIH project for genome sequencing of newborns commences; remote care, next-gen. DNA sequencing top list of 2014 healthcare-market trends; WHO plans evaluation of contagious-disease response.

Breakthrough drugs post banner year

Nine drugs that promised meaningful advances over existing treatments earned the coveted status from FDA and were approved.

Who will win the Opdivo-Keytruda coverage clash?

Who will win the Opdivo-Keytruda coverage clash?

A focus on the existing Yervoy prescribing community could help Bristol-Myers Squibb drive sales of Opdivo past rival Keytruda, one analyst argues.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 29

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 29

FDA clears Novo's liraglutide for obesity; doctors' views vary on Express Scripts' hep.-C plan; Janssen, Gilead advance plans for HIV drugs.

Early Opdivo OK gives BMS more time to erase Keytruda's lead

Early Opdivo OK gives BMS more time to erase Keytruda's lead

FDA's accelerated approval on the checkpoint inhibitor chips away at Merck's first-mover advantage in the US market.

Gilead may be forced to discount hep. C pills

AbbVie's deal with the PBM Express Scripts has altered the dynamic in hepatitis C price-setting, writes Bloomberg.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 23

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 23

BMS cancer drug Opdivo becomes the second PD-1 inhibitor to secure US approval ; Omnicare hit by more kickback charges; India looks to rein in pharma marketing.

Walgreen to vote on merger with Alliance Boots

The 8,200-store chain would expand to 11,000 locations operating in 10 countries, if shareholders approve.

PBM deal on new hep.-C cocktail highlights drugmaker tolerance for discounts

PBM deal on new hep.-C cocktail highlights drugmaker tolerance for discounts

The agreement between AbbVie and Express Scripts is seen as a seismic shift in the joint development of cost-effective therapies, and gives the new regimen a slight edge on Gilead's popular remedies.

GSK shingles vax shaping up to compete with Merck's

GSK shingles vax shaping up to compete with Merck's

The Herpes zoster vaccine candidate showed relatively strong efficacy in a Phase-III trial, but its dosing is less convenient than an older product sold by rival Merck.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 22

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 22

Express Scripts taps AbbVie hep. C drug as exclusive option; AZ first-in-class cancer drug approved; Cubist gains OK for superbug fighter.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 19

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 19

Roche strikes out in cancer, Alzheimer's trials; Lilly in pact for fast-acting insulin; Humana revamps formulary.

Pfizer bets on Duchenne MD treatment

Pfizer bets on Duchenne MD treatment

The company moves on three leading contenders in the muscular dystrophy segment with the start of a Phase II trial

Apotex challenges Amgen blockbuster Neulasta

Canadian firm presents FDA with its third biosimilar application.

Merck buys Swiss biotech

The drugmaker announced it will acquire OncoEthix and its oncology candidate OTX015 in a deal worth up to $365 million

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, December 18

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, December 18

Shire may bid on NPS Pharmaceuticals; Amgen says cancer drug will cost $178,000; Takeda has a new head of R&D.

Pfizer urges parents to take the pledge against meningitis

Pfizer urges parents to take the pledge against meningitis

Pfizer has kicked off a disease-awareness campaign, "Take Action Against Meningitis," urging parents to discuss vaccinations with their healthcare providers with paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy.

Court clears the way for Celebrex generics

Court clears the way for Celebrex generics

Ruling voids FDA's take on reissued patents, settling a year of challenges by generic applicants

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 17

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 17

UCB generic deal falls through; agency hiring could spike in 2015; teenage prescription drug abuse is on the decline.

Latest orphan-drug approval marks 15th this year

Latest orphan-drug approval marks 15th this year

Swiss drugmaker Novartis received an FDA nod for rare disease treatment Signifor LAR Tuesday, as orphan drug approvals reach new heights.

Brain cancer candidate touted for melanoma

Studies by Australian company Novogen are said to demonstrate, for the first time, that a drug highly effective against brain cancers has the same high potency against melanoma.

Pfizer brings humor to menopause marketing

Pfizer brings humor to menopause marketing

The new approach shows "The Talk" has a sequel.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 16

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 16

Bayer consolidates OTC creative portfolio; Genentech R&D head steps down; Novartis receives approval for orphan drug.

Genentech drug combo targets advanced melanoma

The treatment reduces risk by half compared to widely used Zelboraf.

Bayer loses cancer drug patent fight in India

Court clears the way for a Nexavar generic from Natco

Sanofi, Regeneron field pre-launch cholesterol IQ poll

Sanofi, Regeneron field pre-launch cholesterol IQ poll

The drugmakers, who have an experimental cholesterol medication in the works, are asking consumers what they know about heart health.

FDA 2014 approvals outpace those of 2013

FDA 2014 approvals outpace those of 2013

The regulator noted in its early 2014 retrospective that it set a high mark for the number of approved rare disease drugs this year, and that insufficient information is the reason many breakthrough status requests get bounced.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 15

United Healthcare tests an all-in-one cancer payment model, Pfizer inks a worldwide commercialization license for a human growth factor hormone, and the Commonwealth Fund grades Medicare as the program nears its 50th.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 12

Judge rules Actavis must keep Alzheimer's drug on the market; Wyeth CEO joins Roche board, dispelling rumors he may be next Sanofi CEO; Two senators propose new FDA designation which would award 15 years of marketing exclusivity.

Antibiotics maker faces hurdles in diversifying beyond flagship drug

Antibiotics maker faces hurdles in diversifying beyond flagship drug

Cubist is re-launching its C.-Diff. antibiotic in an effort to jumpstart sales beyond Cubicin, which contributes most of its product revenue.

Pfizer's Lyrica ineffective at treating chronic back pain: study

Researchers found no difference between Lyrica (pregabalin) and placebo in treating lumbar spinal stenosis.

Sanofi looks to join M&A trend

Interim CEO Serge Weinberg tells a German paper that the company is prepared to buy assets that meet its goal of providing stable, steady growth.

Five things for pharma marketers to know, Thursday, December 11

Five things for pharma marketers to know, Thursday, December 11

Philadelphia Transportation Authority sues Gilead over Sovaldi sticker shock; Digital marketing tactics raise privacy concerns; another patent cliff is on the horizon.

Merck rolls out new Keytruda data in hard-to-treat group

Merck rolls out new Keytruda data in hard-to-treat group

The drugmaker shared early-trial results for its PD-1 among hard-to-tread triple-negative breast cancer patients and announced an effort to see if the drug can help patients overcome treatment resistance.

FDA plans review of Sandoz's Neupogen biosimilar

As courts sort out lawsuits over two Sandoz biosimilars, the Novartis unit reports a study showing its BLA candidate has similar efficacy to Neupogen.

Pfizer's Celebrex slammed by entry of generics

Mylan, Teva, and Actavis announced generics of the $3 billion arthritis drug.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 10

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, December 10

Cubist's best-selling product has four of its five patents invalidated; the first biologic of AbbVie's Humira launches in India; Mylan debuts generic Celebrex.

Lilly psoriasis drug hits Phase-III endpoint

An investigational JAK inhibitor, baricitinib, bested placebo in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in a Phase-III trial.

Patients to influence voice of Lemtrada consumer campaign

Patients to influence voice of Lemtrada consumer campaign

Patient advocates lobbied the FDA to approve the MS drug and Sanofi subsidiary Genzyme says their voice will be part of the consumer outreach when DTC rolls out next year.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 9

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 9

WSJ reported FDA advisors failed to disclose pharma financial ties; Novartis axes 200 employees in New Jersey; Takeda retires the Millennium brand.

Indian merger creates fifth-largest generic drugmaker

Sun Pharma buys troubled Ranbaxy and its pipeline of promising follow-ons.

Positive lymphoma trials point to expanded role for immune therapies

Positive lymphoma trials point to expanded role for immune therapies

Merck's Keytruda and BMS's Opdivo reverse tumor growth in Hodgkin's patients studies.

AbbVie oncology pipeline continues to show progress

AbbVie oncology pipeline continues to show progress

Early trials of Venetoclax, formerly known as ABT-199, indicate the experimental drug execs consider an oncology cornerstone continues to show promise.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 8

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 8

Merck buys up Cubist in an $8.4B deal, a jury sides with AstraZeneca in a generic Nexium lawsuit and the NYT finds a correlation between Genentech payments and Lucentis prescriptions.

A Call to Action for Healthcare Leaders: Why I Choose to Do More (And Why You Should, Too)

A Call to Action for Healthcare Leaders: Why I Choose to Do More (And Why You Should, Too)

"In this era, it requires mobilizing our collective intelligence toward innovation and integration that is meaningful for large populations."

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 5

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 5

GSK opts to hold onto $1.6 billion portfolio of older drugs; Sanofi upheavals continue with exit of US diabetes sales exec; Takeda gains breakthrough status on AL amyloidosis therapy.

Array gets binimetinib all to itself

Transfer of rights to the experimental cancer drug hinges on completion of Novartis/GSK asset swap.

Incyte drug gains expanded indication for bone marrow disease

Jakafi becomes the first drug approved for treating polycythemia vera.

GSK shrinks, and respiratory looks set to stumble

GSK shrinks, and respiratory looks set to stumble

Doctors tell investment firm Leerink they don't anticipate upping their prescriptions of the new Ellipta line.

Five for things pharma marketers to know: Thursday, December 4

Five for things pharma marketers to know: Thursday, December 4

Despite drugmaker discount, VA still can't afford Sovaldi without additional funds; Ousted Sanofi CEO Viehbacher faces lawsuit for an alleged kickback scheme; GSK slims sales and R&D workforce.

Trial recruiting looks to tap online community leaders

Trial recruiting looks to tap online community leaders

CureClick, TrialReach and WEGO team to leverage health communities and speed trial recruitment.

Rx-opioid related deaths fall for the first time in 13 years

Rx-opioid related deaths fall for the first time in 13 years

The bad news: heroin-related deaths inched upwards.

FDA approves Amgen leukemia immunotherapy

Amgen's Blincyto was approved for a rare form of leukemia after receiving Breakthrough Therapy designation and a Priority Review.

Lilly nabs rights for osteoporosis patch

The drugmaker inked a deal with Zosano worth up to $440 million for the product, which is about to enter Phase-III in clinical trials.


Does a health psychology approach hold the key to Rx adherence? In MM&M's latest Leadership Exchange Uncut eBook, industry stakeholders from the payer, provider, academic and pharma realms explore the "why" behind medicine taking. Access here.

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