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

John Phelan
John Phelan

CVS Health launched a digital lab that's expected to develop diagnostic apps. The corporation, which runs the CVS Pharmacy chain, said in a statement that the Boston lab will also develop tools that include mobile personalization and multi-channel ecommerce. The news follows the company's $1.9-billion acquisition of Target's pharmacy and clinic business.

Merck has settled a pink-eye marketing lawsuit for $5.9 million. According to the lawsuit, a company Merck acquired in 2011, Inspire Pharma, was accused of marketing the drug AzaSite to HCPs for treating bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye), for which is was indicated, as well as for the eyelid inflammation known as blepharitis, for which it was not, Reuters reported. The marketing was said to have happened from 2008 to 2011, when the drug was still owned by Inspire. Merck sold Inspire to Akorn in 2013.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical's experimental treatment for dwarfism, vosoritide, increased the growth rate of children receiving the highest dose to 2.4 inches per year, according to Phase-II data, reported The New York Times. The results edge out those offered by human growth hormone that can be used to treat the condition, but an Emory University genetics professor told the Times hormones stop being effective after about a year, and data that tracks BioMarin's drug beyond the six-month study period will be important to assess its value.

Advertising agencies will hire throughout the second half of the year, but mainly to fill empty positions, according to a poll by employee placement firm The Creative Group. The telephone survey of more than 400 individuals showed that only 21% of companies plan to expand their headcount through the end of the year, compared to 33% who were planning to expand during the first six month of this year.

AstraZeneca and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research will collaborate on investigational type-2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease treatments. PMLive reported that the team will focus on keeping lipids from being released into the bloodstream and how to increase insulin sensitivity in certain tissues.

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