Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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1. Alkermes is targeting lawmakers and law enforcement officials with a lobbying effort to promote its opioid addiction drug Vivitrol. The company's sales reps are assigned to judges of drug courts. Alkermes also gives free shots to inmates leaving prisons. (NYT)

2. Average base salaries for medical reps, including reps for drug and device makers, climbed to $95,791 in 2017, compared to $88,038 in 2016. The average commission fell, however, from $53,405 in 2016 to $63,976 in 2017. (MedReps)

3. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Sandoz, Novartis' generics business, in a decision that will allow biosimilar manufacturers to bring their drugs to market sooner. Amgen had originally sued Sandoz for patent infringement over Sandoz's biosimilar of Amgen's cancer-treatment Neupogen. (The Hill)

4. Merck paused enrollment on two Phase-III Keytruda combination trials in multiple myeloma after patients in the Keytruda groups died. The trials were investigating Keytruda in combination with Celgene's Pomalyst and Revlimid. A Credit Suisse analyst wrote that “we don't believe there is anything of major concern at this time.” (Endpoints News)

5. ICYMI: A former sales rep is now calling on doctors to tell them about the cost savings of generic drugs. The rep works for Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, an Albany-based insurer, and educates doctors about the strategies drug company reps use to sell expensive brand drugs. (Kaiser Health News)

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