Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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1. Medicare and Medicaid programs spent more on Gilead Sciences' hepatitis-C drug Harvoni last year than any other medicine. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a new interactive dashboard showing total spending by government programs on certain prescription drugs, among other information. (CMS)

2. Novartis is mulling the sale of its eye-care unit Alcon. The company's chairman, Joerg Reinhardt, questioned whether the company was the best owner for Alcon. (Reuters)

3. The European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Merck's Lusduna, a biosimilar of Lantus. Merck faces a patent infringement lawsuit from Sanofi, however, that could impede the drug's path to market. (PMLiVE)

4. Pfizer's pain reliever Celebrex may be safer than ibuprofen or naproxen, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that Celebrex was no more likely to cause stroke or heart attack than either drug. (Forbes)

5. Bill Ackman, one of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International's biggest investors,, suggested the company might change its name. Unnamed sources told Fortune that it might take the moniker of its eye-care brand, Bausch & Lomb. (Fortune)

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