Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, August 4

Shire
Shire

One day after Shire announced plans to buy Foresight Biotherapeutics for $300 million, the drugmaker said it had made an offer to acquire Baxalta in a deal worth $30 billion, according to The New York Times. Baxalta, a spinoff of Baxter's biopharmaceutical business, reportedly turned down the deal in July.


The political and scientific purpose of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit created by the Affordable Care Act to conduct comparative effectiveness research, continues to drive disagreement in Washington, according to Politico. Organizations on both the left and the right question whether PCORI can live up to expectations.


CVS Health reported higher pharmacy claims and stronger sales in its specialty pharmacy business during the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter a year ago, Reuters reported. The drugstore chain's specialty pharmacy business, which includes drugs that treat rare and serious diseases, now generates two-thirds of its total revenue.


An analysis conducted by Reuters found that drug industry productivity is growing, with the number of new pharmaceutical product launches hitting a 17-year high in 2014. This is up from 29 new drug launches in 2013. Immuno-oncology therapies such as Merck's Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo are attracting about one-third of all R&D spending.


Using chemotherapy in the abdomen to treat ovarian cancer is effective but the method is rarely used in the US, The New York Times reported. Experts told the Times that the treatment is rarely used for several reasons. It's hard to administer, some physicians doubt its benefits, it's time-consuming and it generates less income for oncologists because it's a generic drug.

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