Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 30, 2016



1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals lowered sales predictions for its recently approved cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi due to lower-than-expected refill rates. The updated forecast comes even after Orkambi was approved for use in patients ages six to 11 years old. (Boston Business Journal)

2. The director of the FDA's Office of Prescription Drug Promotion acknowledged the low level of warning and untitled letters the agency has issued this year, saying that the low number of letters doesn't represent a lower level of enforcement. The regulator has only issued four letters so far in 2016. He also noted that recent promotional submissions to the agency “have presented more complex issues requiring a deeper level of review.” (Bloomberg)

3. Horizon Pharma settled a lawsuit with prescription benefit manager Express Scripts over alleged unpaid rebate payments for its osteoporosis and arthritis drugs: Duexis, Rayos, and Vimovo. Horizon noted in its regulatory filing that it is still discussing the return of Duexis and Vimovo to Express Scripts' formulary. (Modern Healthcare)

4. A former sales manager for Insys Therapeutics was arrested for allegedly providing kickbacks to physicians who prescribed Subsys, a form of the powerful and addictive opioid fentanyl. One healthcare provider was allegedly paid $83,000 to boost prescriptions, according to an affidavit. (Stat)

5. Genentech struck a partnership with South Korean drug developer Hanmi Pharm to develop and commercialize an experimental cancer drug, HM95573. The deal is worth up to $910 million if certain milestones are hit. (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News)