Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

1. A pair of studies found that immuno-oncology drugs like Merck's Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo are having some success for patients with difficult-to-treat head and neck cancer as well as a skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. “This period for immunotherapy is comparable to the 1960s for chemotherapy, when we were just beginning to use it,” a researcher told The Washington Post. (WaPo)

2. Express Scripts accused Anthem, its largest client, of negotiating their contract in bad faith. The health plan in March sued the PBM, demanding $13 billion in price cuts based on their contract. (Reuters)

3. Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly plan to conduct two outcomes trials that will test their diabetes drug Jardiance as a treatment for chronic heart failure. The drugmakers said they will enroll patients with chronic heart failure, including those with and without type 2 diabetes. (PharmaTimes)  

4. The first-quarter earnings season has kicked off. Roche said revenue rose 5% to $12.9 billion in the first three months of 2016, in part due to strong sales of its cancer and immunology drugs. J&J also cited strong performance of its immunology drugs. (WSJ, MM&M)

5. UnitedHealth Group said it planned to stop participating in the public health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. The company plans to only offer policies in a handful of states in 2017. (NYT)