Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 26, 2016

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1. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker ended her role as a spokesperson for Mylan in the wake of  criticism that the drugmaker hiked the price of the EpiPen. In a statement, Parker said the company should take “swift action to lower the cost to be more affordable for whom it is a life-saving necessity.” (Stat)

2. When asked about Mylan's EpiPen controversy, a White House spokesman said drugmakers may damage their corporate reputations by hiking the prices of their drugs. "I will observe, however, that pharmaceutical companies that often try to portray themselves as the inventors of life-saving medication often do real damage to their reputation by being greedy and jacking up prices," he said. (Reuters)

3. More lung-cancer physicians may start prescribing Merck's Keytruda instead of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo, based on a new set of clinical data. The studies have not yet been published. (Reuters)

4. Merck KGaA is diversifying its business by adding two new divisions, one that makes specialty chemicals used in display screens and the other that manufactures laboratory equipment for biotechnology firms. The drugmaker has stayed profitable even after some of its experimental drugs failed. (WSJ)

5. A lawsuit filed by the Illinois attorney general accused Insys Therapeutics of deceptively marketing a spray version of the opioid fentanyl to doctors for off-label uses. (Law360)