Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, April 27

Valeant
Valeant

After Valeant acquired the rights to two drugs—Nitropress and Isuprel—in February, the drugmaker increased their list prices by 525% and 212% the same day, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Cleveland Clinic's chief pharmacy officer told the Journal that the increase of those two drugs alone added $8.6 million to the health system's budget. A number of pharma companies are also raising the prices of medications they have acquired although Valeant is considered the leader in drug-price increases.  

An analysis of medical records found that people with HCV were more than twice as likely to have a number of common cancers. Dr. Anders Nyberg, a physician with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, told attendees at the International Liver Congress that even excluding liver cancer, people with HCV had more than an 80% increase in the risk of cancer, according to MedPage Today.

Three studies presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting hint that new therapies could slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. Biogen unveiled new trial results that suggest its experimental drug, known as anti-LINGO-1, could help repair nerve damage in patients, The Wall Street Journal wrote. But there are also concerns about the prices of older multiple sclerosis drugs. New research from Oregon State Health & Science University found that older multiple sclerosis treatments continue to rise in price despite being on the market for 10 to 15 years. “The pattern is a new drug comes on the market at a higher price than the existing drugs, and the response of the existing drugs it to raise their prices to close to the new drugs,” Dr. Dennis Bourdette, the chair of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, told a media outlet.

Teva's $40-billion bid to acquire Mylan would give the combined company control over nearly 25% of the US generic drug market, according to Reuters, a deal that could raise antitrust issues with regulators if it moves forward. Mylan continues to pursue a hostile takeover of Perrigo, which rebuffed its latest $33 billion bid last week. Teva currently manufactures 375 generic products, compared to Mylan's 360, the news service wrote.

ICYMI: The FDA approved Eli Lilly's Cyramza (ramucirumab) as a second-line treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer on Friday. Cyramza is already approved for use in patients with advanced stomach and esophageal cancers.

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