Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, December 15, 2016

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Purdue Pharma's OxyContin is the market leader of abuse-deterrent opioids.

1. Drugmakers are pushing to market a new type of harder-to-manipulate opioids to tackle prescription painkiller abuse, but the drugs have little proof of reducing overdose and death rates. (AP)

2. Two executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals are reportedly expected to plead guilty for conspiring with other drugmakers to fix the prices of antibiotic drug doxycycline hyclate and diabetes treatment glyburide. Former CEO Jeffrey Glazer and a former president Jason Malek are the first people to be charged following a two-year investigation of the generics industry. (Bloomberg)

3. Pershing Square Capital Management, founded by hedge-fund manager William Ackman, sold 3.5 million Valeant shares. Pershing is Valeant's largest stockholder and it has lost $2 billion of its investment in the drugmaker. (WSJ)

4. Intercept Pharmaceuticals received conditional approval from the European Commission to market Ocaliva for primary billiard cholangitis, a rare liver condition. The drug received accelerated approval from the FDA in May. (Reuters)

5. Pfizer's cancer treatment Xtandi combined with Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga and a steroid failed to prolong the lifespan of patients with advanced prostate cancer in a late-stage trial, compared to when they took the drugs separately. Xtandi is sold by Pfizer in partnership with Astellas Pharma. (Reuters)

Correction: An earlier version of the fifth item incorrectly stated the patient outcomes of the trial. Pfizer's cancer treatment Xtandi combined with Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga failed in a progression trial involving patients with advanced prostate cancer, when compared to patients taking Zytiga and the steroid alone.
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