Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, December 1


GlaxoSmithKline is heading into a reorganization that includes US job cuts. Sources tell Bloomberg the shakeup will “include hundreds of job cuts in the US,” and that the UK firm expects to share details this week. The announcement is not wholly unexpected: Reuters notes that the company said in its October earnings call that the reorg will save the company about $1.56 billion in three years. The new information will be which job functions will be scuttled.

The Pfizer-AstraZeneca takeover deal may really, truly be dead, but the story is not: AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told CNBC in an interview on Friday, that new tax inversion rules would have probably torpedoed the deal, even if Pfizer had managed to offer what the CEO considered a fair price.

China's sales reps are getting crunched. FirstWord Pharma reports that corruption scandals have sidelined reps and that companies are moving towards sales strategies that “are shifting focus from a reliance on sales representatives to a model aligned with a marketing-centric path.” The site says this means using “academic communication officers or medical liaison staff.” The site bolsters its report with news from China Daily which indicates Bristol-Myers Squibb has cut 1,000s from its local sales staff.

FDA has rejected Avanir Pharmaceuticals' drug device combination product that delivers a fast-acting, dry powder intranasal form of sumatriptan using a first-of-its-kind breath powered device technology. Reuters reports analysts remain confident the product will eventually be approved—with an expected launch in early 2016—as FDA concerns relate to the safe and effective use of the device rather than to the migraine drug active ingredient. Avanir said it will conduct a new human factors study testing the device's usability.

While the UN looks to be missing targets for curbing West Africa' Ebola epidemic, Bloomberg reports, an NIH/GSK experimental vaccine has shown promise. The Ebola vaccine was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a phase 1 clinical trial conducted by NIH researchers. Co-developed by NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline, the candidate vaccine was tested at NIH's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with the interim results reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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