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

CVS Health
CVS Health

CVS Health said it will buy Target's pharmacy and clinic businesses for $1.9 billion. The proposed deal will add 1,660 pharmacies and almost 80 clinics to CVS's portfolio of drugstores. The companies also plan to develop up to 10 stores that will be called TargetExpress and including a CVS-branded pharmacy. CVS announced in May that it would spend $12.7 billion to buy Omnicare, one of the nation's largest institutional pharmacy providers.

Bluebird Bio said its experimental gene therapy for sickle-cell disease allowed a teen with the disease to go three months without a blood transfusion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Physicians say the study isn't definitive but is an encouraging sign that gene therapy can be used to treat the disease. The therapy helps the body produce enough hemoglobin to reduce or eliminate symptoms of the disease.

PatientsLikeMe signed a research agreement with the FDA to gather information on how patients report data about side effects of treatments to improve the regulator's postmarket surveillance of approved products. This may help improve knowledge about a drug's tolerance, adherence and quality of life. About 350,000 people use PatientsLikeMe to report on their experiences living with 2,500 conditions.

The Alzheimer's Association decided to delay releasing embargoed clinical trial information about an experimental drug developed by Eli Lilly to treat the disease, Reuters reported. The patient group will not release the data in advance of a July meeting over concerns that the early release of data to the meeting's attendees contributed to a boost in the company's share price. The drug, solanezumab, is being tested to delay progression of Alzheimer's.

ICYMI: The FDA declined seven times from 2008 to 2013 to approve a new drug because the patients taking the treatment were more likely to die than those in the control group, but only one of the manufacturers told investors, Forbes reported on Friday. The statistics came from an analysis published in the British Medical Journal and raise questions about how the industry communicates with investors and the public.


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