Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday January 27



AstraZeneca's Nexium (esomeprazole) now has generic competition: the FDA approved its first generic Monday afternoon. The generic is made by Teva, which jumped the line for manufacturing the first generic after the FDA pulled Ranbaxy's first-to-market claim in November over manufacturing issues. An FDA ban on Ranbaxy facilities unofficially extended Nexium's patent because rules prevented a competing generic to hit the market as long as Ranbaxy had first-to-produce rights.

New cancer-fighting technology that has captured investor and drugmaker attention (think Amgen and Kite pharma collab) may have some troubling side effects. Reuters reports that oncologists are concerned that pipeline drugs classified as chimeric antigen receptor T cells or bispecific antibodies (both use T cells to destroy tumors) kill tumors but allow “toxic debris” to accumulate. Reuters notes that the chimeric drugs are expected to cost around $300,000 to $500,000 per patient if they were to hit the market.

Former Pfizer exec Paul Sturman is now CEO of the e-cigarette company NJOY, Drug Store News reports. The former head of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business oversaw brands including Advil and Robitussin. The move puts Sturman in familiar territory in that Pfizer manufacturers smoking-cessation agent Chantix.

Bayer and partner Johnson & Johnson are launching a head-to-head comparison between its bloodthinner Xarelto and everyday aspirin to compare the impact these two drugs have on preventing a second stroke or blood clot. Pharmafile reports that the Population Health Research Institute and the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network will assist with the 7,000- patient clinical trial.

President Obama is proposing to put $1.2 billion of the next budget toward drug-resistant bacteria research. The Hill reports that this almost would almost double the amount of money being used to attack the problem.