Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday January 27, 2017

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1. Bristol-Myers Squibb scaled back financial expectations for the coming year. Its immunotherapy drug Opdivo has faced a number of clinical setbacks. In August, BMS said that Opdivo had failed to meet a primary endpoint in its monotherapy trial and, more recently, it said it wouldn't pursue an accelerated approval for its lung-cancer combination of Yervoy and Opdivo. (WSJ)

2. New research suggests that diabetes may be the cause of 12% of deaths — that estimate is three times higher than initial estimates of 3.5%. The individuals with diabetes who are also obese have an even higher death rate of 19%. (Vox)

3. McKesson plans to acquire CoverMyMeds for roughly $1.1 billion, a startup that automates prior authorization for drugmakers, payers, pharmacies, and providers. Prior authorization is often seen as a hurdle for patients trying to fill prescriptions and drugmakers trying to boost sales of their new medicines. (Modern Healthcare)

4. John LaMattina, Pfizer's past president of global research and development, wrote that 10 to 12 of the biggest drugmakers should leave the lobbying group PhRMA. His rationale is that PhRMA has too many member companies to create any material policy changes among the group. (Forbes)

5. ICYMI: Novartis is weighing the sales of its eyecare unit, Alcon. Novartis bought the company seven years ago for $51.6 billion. (WSJ)

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